Nothing thrills Fox News more than latching unto random remarks by President Biden that they can deceptively misrepresent as controversial, out of context sentence fragments to make him look bad. It’s a core component of what Fox regards as journalism. They appear to have a well staffed “gaffe” division that does nothing else but seek out these phony oratorical opportunities.
On Monday morning it was Peter Doocy’s turn to fire a barrage of these alleged bloopers at Biden. The President was returning from Poland where he had honored American soldiers aiding Ukraine in their defense against the Russian invasion. It was a productive trip that reinforced the NATO alliance and its commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty. But the media – particularly Fox News and others on the right – seemed fixated on a petty gaffe wherein Biden said what most of the world was thinking: that the heinous butcher Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power.”
That off the cuff comment sparked a firestorm of faux controversy about whether Biden was calling for regime change in Russia. But it was only a portion of the scandal mongering engaged in by Doocy. When called on by Biden at the press conference, the following exchange took place (video below):
Biden: I know you’re gonna ask a really nice question.
Doocy: Well, it’s an important question, I think. Are you worried that other leaders in the world are gonna start to doubt that America is back if some of these big things that you say on the world stage keep getting walked back?
Biden: What’s getting walked back?
Doocy: You made it sound like, just in these last couple of days, It sounded like you told the U.S. troops they were going to Ukraine. It sounded like you said it was possible the U.S. would use a chemical weapon. And It sounded like you were calling for regime change in Russia.
Notice that Doocy repeatedly referred to things he said “sounded like” something to be worried about. That’s your first clue that he was making up his outrage and basing it entirely on his spin. And the result that he implied was that world leaders would be put off by it. To the contrary, most foreign policy experts considered the trip an unqualified success. Biden responded to Doocy’s questions saying that…
Biden: None of those three occurred. You interpret the language that way. I was talking to the troops, we were talking about helping train the Ukrainian troops that are in Poland. That’s what the context is. I sat there with those guys for a couple of hours. That’s what we talked about.
Doocy: So when you said “You’re going to see when you’re there…”
Biden: I was referring to being with and talking with the Ukrainian troops that were in Poland.
Doocy: And when you said a chemical weapon used by Russia would trigger a response in kind?
Biden: It would trigger a significant response.
Doocy: What does that mean?
Biden: I’m not going to tell you. Why would I tell you? You’ve gotta be silly.
Doocy: The world wants to know.
Biden: The world wants to know a lot of things. I’m not telling them what the response would be. Then Russia knows the response.
Biden was pretty gentle with Doocy, by merely calling his question “silly.” He could have said it was “idiotic,” or “dangerous,” or otherwise astonishingly foolish to think that any President would disclose such privileged information in a televised press conference. But you can rest assured that when Fox News reports this they will characterize Biden as being snippy and disrespectful to the press. Never mind that they they adored Trump when he maligned the media as “fake” and “the enemy of the people,” and even fantasized about getting rid of them like Putin does.
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"I'm not going to tell you. Why would I tell you?" — Biden to Peter Doocy pic.twitter.com/Uj76tpyDbE
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 28, 2022
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