Joe Biden is getting hammered by bad press. The 2020 Democratic front-runner’s previous anecdotes about working alongside racist Dixiecrats in the U.S. Senate have gone from longstanding parts of Biden speeches to breaking news. Newsrooms are also resurfacing specifics of Biden’s past opposition to busing of students for the purpose of racial desegregation. And all of this comes after the former vice president was mauled badly during the first Democratic primary debate by Kamala Harris specifically on the issue of busing.
But Biden is not the one who looks bad here. The press is.
For the newsrooms that are just now going through their archives and coming back with materials suggesting Biden has a problematic history of racially insensitive statements and positions: Where were these reports when it was first rumored that the Obama 2008 campaign was vetting Biden to join the ticket as vice president? Where were these reports when Biden served for eight years as vice president to America’s first black president?
Are newsrooms really going to suggest there was no little value to Biden’s past positions on racially sensitive topics when he served in the Obama administration? The answer, it seems, is yes.
National Public Radio, for example, published a report this weekend titled, “LISTEN: Biden Supported A Constitutional Amendment To End Mandated Busing In 1975.”
“In 1975, one of the most divisive cultural and political issues of the time was busing, the practice of putting black and white children on buses and sending them to different schools within a school district to achieve integration,” the report reads.
It adds, “Factoring prominently into the debate against busing, however, was a young, liberal, 32-year-old Delaware senator by the name of Joe Biden.”
The article was hyped on social media by NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith, who claimed her newsroom just now “found audio in [its] archives quite relevant” to the Democratic debate.
Great find, but why is NPR just now getting around to combing through its Biden archives? NPR’s answer: because a Democrat called attention to the matter. Is that all it takes?
“The issue of busing has threatened to derail Biden’s campaign after he came under attack from Sen. Kamala Harris of California at Thursday night’s debate,” NPR reports.
Elsewhere, on Monday, CNN published a report titled, “Joe Biden explained opposition to desegregation busing in 1981 CNN interview.”
The author of the article, Andrew Kaczynski, explained the long-forgotten footage is relevant today, as opposed to all the years Biden was in office, because “busing wasn’t an issue [in 2008 or 2012] and the Democratic Party has changed a lot. Biden opposition to undocumented immigration or abortion wasn’t as big as issue then either. Times and issues change.”
But busing isn’t really an issue in 2019, either. So, we are to believe that a racially sensitive issue that was contentious in the days it was debated is worthy of investigative coverage now only because Harris brought it up during a debate, but that it was not worthy of media attention when Biden served as vice president? Come on.