Here’s one current way to prove the “fact-based” liberal media is a stenographer to White House power. On December 16, President Biden warned the unvaccinated they faced “a winter of severe illness and death.” Biden’s COVID coordinator Jeffrey Zients repeated that harsh line the next day. But the networks presented this as a “stark warning.” A Nexis search of transcripts demonstrates that there was zero criticism of these remarks on liberal networks. Fox News reported Biden was “viciously mocked” on Twitter, but you could find a conservative or Republican Biden critique anywhere.
This December 17 summary on NPR’s All Things Considered (no Republicans quoted) was the toughest it got:
AUDIE CORNISH: The White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeffrey Zients sounded a dire warning today about what the U.S. might be facing with the omicron variant in the weeks to come.
JEFF ZIENTS: For the unvaccinated, you’re looking at a winter of severe illness and death for yourselves, your families and the hospitals you may soon overwhelm.
AUDIE CORNISH: Now, that warning didn’t come with many new policies or strategies to keep that dark winter from happening.
That was the “rough” take. This December 17 CBS Mornings report was the norm. Run the clip, and move on:
GAYLE KING: Meg Oliver reports on the concern that stretches all the way to the White House.
PRESIDENT BIDEN: For unvaccinated, we are looking at a winter of severe illness and death.
MEG OLIVER: The reported omicron cases have so far been mild. Experts warn, every precaution should be taken to prevent infection.
On ABC’s World News Tonight that evening, the “stark message” spin.
ERIELLE RESHEF: And tonight, the nation’s top health officials with a stark message for the unvaccinated.
JEFFREY ZIENTS: For the unvaccinated, you’re looking at a winter of severe illness and death for yourselves, your families, and the hospitals you may soon overwhelm.
On NBC Nightly News that night, Lester Holt opened the show with “Nationwide cases, hospitalizations, deaths all rising. The White House’s stark warning saying the unvaccinated face a winter of severe illness and death. And news from Pfizer, how it could set back the timeline for vaccinating young children.” Later, Miguel Almaguer preceded the Zients clip with blame: “The 91 million Americans who are not inoculated are accelerating the pandemic.”
CNN and MSNBC played the clips without any rebuttal. The Sunday morning shows on December 19 repeated it, like Jake Tapper questioning Anthony Fauci on State of the Union:
TAPPER: President Biden said the unvaccinated are — quote — “looking at a winter of severe illness and death.” Michael Osterholm says a viral blizzard is coming. Where is the pandemic headed right now? Do you expect new record high numbers for cases? And what about hospitalizations and deaths?
FAUCI: Yes, well, unfortunately, Jake, I think that that is going to happen.
Meet the Press host Chuck Todd was the harshest, and it wasn’t very harsh: “We said it a year ago. As COVID goes, so goes Mr. Biden`s presidency. And though the president is not responsible for this latest wave, he may well wind up paying the political price for it.”
This is as tough as the liberal networks get on Biden and COVID. ‘Meet the Press’ host Chuck Todd saying he’s not responsible for the crisis, but he may end up paying a political price for it. pic.twitter.com/LmEWXl2aIS
— Tim Graham (@TimJGraham) December 28, 2021