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For a brief moment this weekend, after conducting an embarrassingly sycophantic interview with White House press secretary Jen Psaki, CNN’s Brian Stelter became the poster child for all that is wrong with legacy media.
On Monday, however, PBS NewsHour’s reliably useless Yamiche Alcindor stole Stelter’s thunder when she asked National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan how the Biden administration plans to address the supposed trauma former President Trump caused European leaders.
This is a real question asked by a real member of the White House press corps.
“Can you talk a bit about how President Biden plans to convince, especially our European allies,” said Alcindor, “that President — former President Trump was an anomaly in some ways — all the things that he did to, in some ways, traumatize those leaders; calling into question the need for NATO. What’s the plan there?”
She added, “And is he concerned that those scars are going to be deeper than his ability to address them in this one trip?”
This question serves no public interest. It certainly doesn’t “afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.”
This is because it’s not a serious question. It’s not meant to draw out meaningful new information. It’s meant to tee up the Biden administration to contrast itself favorably with the previous administration, which Alcindor characterizes as an “anomaly.” It’s a talking point disguised as journalism.
If you’re surprised by Alcindor’s behavior this week, you shouldn’t be. This is her entire bag.
Indeed, Alcindor became media-famous during the Trump years precisely because of her particularly tedious brand of activism, which she tries to pass off as journalism. Her performative acts of resistance even landed her a book deal and lucrative speaking gigs, all despite the fact she rarely, if ever, breaks actual news. But this is apparently all it takes to become a star in today’s press, the shameless promotion of left-wing talking points, regardless of the news of the day or whether the “questions” are even germane to the topic at hand.
In March 2020, for example, during a White House press briefing intended to provide members of the news media and the general public with information on what is being done at both the state and federal level to address the COVID-19 pandemic, Alcindor used the event as an opportunity to chastise Trump over allegations an anonymous White House staffer referred to the coronavirus as “Kung Flu.”
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