Washington Post reporters touted a Democrat’s framing of Joe Biden’s presidency Friday as inheriting the Civil War, Cold War, and Great Depression all at once, in addition to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
In a story headlined, “In first full day in office, Biden faces multiple crises,” former Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel told the Post, “Lincoln had the Civil War, Wilson had the pandemic, Roosevelt had the Depression, Kennedy had the height of the Cold War, and Johnson had unprecedented civil and social strife. Biden has D, all of the above.”
Co-author Ashley Parker appeared to agree, tweeting, “Welcome to D — Biden’s all of the above presidency.” Washington Post correspondent Philip Rucker also shared the quote, although neither noted that Emanuel should have said “F,” as he had already listed five choices.
Parker also shared a quote in the story from Adam Jentleson, a former aide to Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., that said Biden has to play “three-dimensional chess in an antigravity chamber with the pieces flying off the board.”
However, the country is not going through a depression. While the economy has been rocked by the coronavirus and the on-agan, off-again shutdowns throughout the country, the unemployment rate has dropped from nearly 15 percent in April to 6.7 percent as of last month.
Emanuel’s hyperbolic remarks about the Civil War also went unchecked, as the nation is not engaged in armed conflict. The Civil War from 1861 to 1865 killed more than 600,000 people and is the deadliest conflict in American history. In addition, while the country has tense relations with adversaries like China and Russia, the Cold War ended more than 30 years ago.
“Your job is to report facts,” the Washington Examiner’s Jerry Dunleavy tweeted in criticism of the Post’s uncritical sharing of Emanuel’s quote.
Emanuel, who also served as President Barack Obama’s first Chief of Staff, once famously remarked “you never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” He added to the Post that the situation facing Biden “brings a different sense of urgency.”
“The normal boundaries of procedures and expectations, that weight gets lifted and you … can do things you once thought were impossible,” he said.
Emanuel’s quote served as another apparent example of expectation-setting by the Biden administration with an apparent assist from the press.
The piece followed a panned CNN report on Thursday where anonymous sources on Biden’s team claimed they had inherited no vaccine distribution plan from the Trump administration, but the story was swiftly debunked by other media outlets and infecious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci.