Administration officials, apparently shocked at being blasted by mainstream media for a Thursday political speech by the president, counterattacked.
White House officials, including Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates, threw published articles against MAGA supporters in the face of those media outlets.
Fox News further reported:
Speaking in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia during remarks billed as his “Battle for the Soul of the Nation” speech Thursday night, Biden repeatedly slammed the “MAGA Republicans” and called out former President Trump by name as being threats to democracy.
The White House insisted it was not a campaign speech despite his partisan attacks and urging Americans to “vote, vote, vote!”
Many critics, including members of the establishment media, appeared shocked by the partisan nature of the primetime address.
Reuters White House correspondent Jeff Mason began his tweet by quoting the president’s response to hecklers at his speech, writing, “‘Good manners is nothing they’ve ever suffered from,’ @POTUS says about protesters at his speech, in which he accused former President Trump and ‘MAGA Republicans’ of threatening the foundation of U.S. democracy. The White House said earlier today the speech was not political.”
CBS News correspondent Ed O’Keefe similarly wrote, “Like or loathe what he said tonight, it should be noted: The president spoke tonight on the grounds of a national park, flanked by US Marines, and took direct, specific aim at his predecessor and members of the Republican Party. Another thing we don’t see everyday.”
CNN correspondent Jeff Zeleny added, “There’s nothing unusual or wrong with a President delivering a political speech — it’s inherent in the job description — but doing it against a backdrop of two Marines standing at attention and the Marine Band is a break with White House traditions.”
White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates swiftly rejected their criticisms and fired back by using articles from their respective outlets against them.
“It’s no more ‘political’ than this accurate and timely reporting from CNN,” Bates told Zeleny before sharing CNN headlines like “Jake Tapper breaks down GOP threats to democracy” and “An Arizona Trump rally and voting rights march underscore the fight for democracy.”
Bates lifted three Reuters headlines in response to Mason; “Reuters unmasks Trump supporters who terrified U.S. election officials,” “Campaign of Fear: The Trump world’s assault on U.S. election workers” and “World shocked by Trump supporters’ attack on U.S. democracy.”
He similarly replied to O’Keefe with CBS headlines “The ‘Big Lie’ and the fate of democracy,” “January 6 hearings, and the next test for American democracy” and “Romney warns of ‘extraordinary challenge’ to preserve American democracy.”
CNN anchor Brianna Keilar similarly knocked Biden’s “political” speech, specifically how flanking two Marines “flies in the face” of having an apolitical military.
Bates’ colleague, White House deputy press secretary Chris Meagher, replied to Keilar, “Democracy is not a partisan or political issue.”
It appears White House officials consider the press as powerful as the president by inferring what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.