Accuracy in Media

As President Joe Biden reaches his first hundred days in office, the media has had ample time to adjust to the new administration. And it has – but at the expense of issues that less than a year ago were central to their reporting.

Both Biden and Trump took office on January 20 after their respective elections, but Biden did not hold a press conference until March 25. Trump held his first on February 16 – and at the time, he was ripped because “no president [had] waited longer to have a press conference.“ But when Biden took even longer, he was heralded for not being an “in-your-face” president.

As Biden began to make policy decisions, the double standard became more apparent. 

  • Executive orders – During Biden’s first 100 days, he signed 42 executive orders – the most since President Harry Truman, according to NPR. Trump signed just 24 in his first hundred days. Throughout the Trump presidency, however, media outlets including PBS NewsHour called Trump’s use of executive orders “dangerous.” Biden’s use of them was waved away by the same outlet as a “flurry” of orders, with no suggestion of overreach.

 

  • COVID-19 – The vaccine rollout to fight COVID-19, after the media doubted Trump’s ability to get a vaccine as quickly as he did, underwent drastically different media treatment under Biden. They praised Biden for the same Trump plan they scrutinized looking for problems. Outlets doubted when the vaccine would be rolled out and when Americans would be eligible to get it – before Biden was even president, NBC News quoted “Biden advisers” as saying that Trump’s “mass vaccination timeline may be too optimistic.




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