Accuracy in Media

The mainstream media openly wondered if former vice president and Democratic Party presidential candidate Joe Biden was doing enough to remain visible to the American public during the coronavirus pandemic. Now, NBC News changed its narrative and claimed that Biden is winning the rhetorical political battle during the pandemic.

NBC News said that Biden’s “less bombastic approach,” when compared to Trump’s “attack-at-all-times philosophy,” helps Biden promote “himself as an antidote to the chaos of the Trump era.” “The subtle conceit is that Trump is his own worst enemy, a modern-day Herbert Hoover, whose presidency will collapse under its own weight,” the news outlet wrote. “If that’s the case, Biden needs only to point out how he would do things differently and avoid being perceived as an additional burden on an overwhelmed president.”

Biden’s “tamer approach,” according to NBC News’s Democratic Party sources, is the right strategy during the coronavirus pandemic. NBC News added that Biden “seems happy” to let party officials and Trump use stronger language and “more aggressive tack” in public.

Contrast the media’s spin on Biden’s virtual-based campaign this week to last week’s Biden coverage, when as recently as last week, NBC News headlined Biden’s visibility struggles, “Still buffering? Biden works to boost visibility as nation confronts coronavirus pandemic.” The news outlet noted that the “entirely virtual campaign…has presented unique challenges” for Biden. NBC News also wrote that Biden’s campaign was criticized “over seeming to recede into the background at a critical juncture” during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Biden campaign then told NBC News of the “steep learning curve” to transition to digital in a short timeframe. It took the campaign six days to debut a live stream of Biden’s new home-based studio in his Delaware home.

NBC News changed its narrative about Biden’s campaign during the coronavirus pandemic within a week’s time, which narrative could not be proven or disproven. It is purely speculative to assert that Biden’s less aggressive strategy is the right move and to only quote Biden’s supporters. The news outlet should have interviewed Republican and nonpartisan sources for its story, and also included poll numbers that demonstrated Americans’ growing trust of Trump’s handling of the pandemic. Instead, NBC News stuck to a pro-Biden narrative, despite lingering questions about Biden’s public visibility during the pandemic.

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