Drew's Receipts: Media Failures of the Week, July 1

July 1, 2023

Pride marchers are just kidding about "coming for your kids." The Supreme Court is evil again. And that submarine is more important than anything the Bidens are doing.

All that and more were mainstream media narratives last week. As usual, I’ve got the receipts.


"It's the West Coast. It's late at night..."

MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell offered an interesting defense of President Joe Biden calling Chinese president Xi Jinping a "dictator" as his secretary of state was in China trying to mitigate the damage:

"It's the West Coast. It's late at night. He's done four of these [fundraisers], plus that meeting on artificial intelligence earlier in the day, so he's had a very busy schedule."

Some journalists might worry that the leader of the free world doesn't have the mental stamina to speak at night. But not Mitchell:


"Sleep apnea is a common disorder..."

The media finally found something about Biden's health they want to talk about: his sleep apnea. From the New York Times:

President Biden has begun using a CPAP machine in recent weeks to help deal with sleep apnea, a common disorder in which one’s breathing is interrupted as one sleeps, White House officials said Wednesday. When Mr. Biden left the White House on Wednesday morning for a speech in Chicago, he had indentations across both sides of his face from having worn the device, known as a continuous positive airway pressure machine. "Since 2008, the president has disclosed his history with sleep apnea in thorough medical reports," said Andrew Bates, a White House spokesman. "He used a CPAP machine last night, which is common for people with that history."

The media jumped all over this story, with reports from CNNReutersthe Associated Press, NPR, and beyond. Bloomberg's Jennifer Jacobs got the original "scoop":

Just don't ask about his mental well-being:

  • CNN: "Republicans keep trying to make Biden’s mental capacity an issue":

During the course of the 2020 campaign, Donald Trump repeatedly tried to make Joe Biden’s mental state a major issue....

The Point: This is the sort of gross, lowest-common-denominator politics that drive people away from public life. If Republicans have some sort of proof that Biden is declining, they should bring it forward. If they don’t, they should stop doing what they’re doing. Immediately.


"...all but ensuring that elite institutions become whiter..."

The media melted down in response to the news that the Supreme Court had struck down the use of racial affirmative action in college admissions. The New York Times had a response that seemed... pretty racist.

To help make the ruling relatable, the Times caught up with some prospective students touring Harvard University:

The teenagers seeking shade as their tour groups crisscrossed leafy Harvard Yard on Thursday knew that they would be among the first students to feel the effect of the Supreme Court’s ruling on race-based admissions when they applied to colleges.

What they didn’t know was exactly how it would affect their chances. But many high school students, visiting Harvard University and beyond, said they were concerned to see long-established admissions practices giving way to something new and unfamiliar.

Suffer the (wealthy, privileged) children!


"It's the story leading the broadcast evening news..."

The media are outraged that the submersible that exploded looking for the Titanic got more attention than a shipwreck that killed dozens of migrants. CNN media critic Oliver Darcy explains:

But questions have also been raised about whether the press is going overboard focusing on the story. Is the high volume of coverage and breathless nature of it warranted? Should a missing tourism vessel for the ultra-wealthy take precedence over other consequential stories happening around the world?...

Meanwhile, as the furious coverage of the missing vessel entered its third day, growing more feverish with time, critics pointed out that other tragic maritime accidents have received far less attention from the press.

"The media obsession with the Titanic submersible is in contrast with the relative meagre coverage of the drownings in the Mediterranean Sea," the Irish journalist Vincent Browne pointed out on Wednesday, referring to the boats carrying scores of migrants that have sunk in recent months in a desperate attempt to reach Europe.Just last week, Pakistani authorities said that more than 300 people were killed when a fishing boat packed with people sunk off the coast of Greece. Ylva Johansson, the European Union commissioner for home affairs, described the horrific incident as perhaps "the worst tragedy ever" in the Mediterranean Sea. And yet, the disaster did not inspire a level of coverage close to what major news organizations have devoted to the ocean submersible.

Darcy's urging fell on deaf ears... at least at CNN, where over a week later, the submersible is still front-page news.

The Greek migrant crisis? Not so much.

"One of many provocative expressions used to regain control of slurs against LGBTQ people."

The media's bizarre Pride coverage reached a peak when NBC News excused marchers' chants of "we're coming for your children" as some kind of cheeky inside joke:

Over the weekend, a short video circulated widely on social media of an unidentified person at a New York City march during Pride festivities saying, "We’re coming for your children."...To conservative pundits, activists and lawmakers, the video confirmed the allegations they’ve levied in recent years that the LGBTQ community is "grooming" children. But to Brian Griffin, the original organizer of the NYC Drag March, if that’s the worst they heard, it’s only because he wasn’t there this year. Griffin said he chanted obscene things in the past, like "Kill, kill, kill, we’re coming to kill the mayor," and joked about pubic hair and sex toys during marches. People at the Drag March regularly sing "God is a lesbian."...

The "coming for your children" chant has been used for years at Pride events, according to longtime march attendees and gay rights activists, who said it’s one of many provocative expressions used to regain control of slurs against LGBTQ people.

The real victims here, to hear NBC News tell it, are the Pride parade attendees.

Conservative politicians and pundits have increasingly referred to advocates for LGBTQ rights as "groomers," associating people who oppose laws that restrict drag performances or classroom discussions of gender identity with pedophiles. The charge is an echo of a decades-old trope anti-gay activists have used to paint the community as a threat to the country’s youths, an allegation that some advocates say endangers LGBTQ people. And the intense reaction to the video has scared some attendees, who insist the quip has been taken out of context. "It’s really scary to us," said Fussy Lo Mein, a drag performer and activist who was at this year’s march and declined to give their real name because of safety concerns. "It doesn’t represent everybody — it represents that individual. I thought it was a dumb idea, and I started chanting on top of it with alternate verses."


"An I.R.S. investigator’s testimony ... is at odds with the version laid out by Attorney General Merrick Garland."

The New York Times buried an important detail about an IRS whistleblower who worked on the Hunter Biden investigation deep in a recent piece, as the Washington Free Beacon's Chuck Ross caught:


Why would the Times take so long to mention that they had corroborated the allegations? Well, one possible theory:

In providing accounts of internal discussions at odds with Mr. Garland’s testimony, Mr. Shapley gave Republicans a fresh opening to raise questions about the case and to cast doubt on the Justice Department’s repeated statements that Mr. Weiss had complete control of the investigation with no political interference.

That’s enough media for now. See you next week.