The New York Times coverage of President Biden’s Inauguration Day appeared under a capitalized headline in Thursday’s edition: “‘Democracy Has Prevailed’: Biden Vows to Mend Nation.”
When it was President Trump calling for peace and harmony after the terrorist attack in El Paso in August 2019, the Times used the word in its banner headline (“Trump Urges Unity Versus Racism”). But after outrage by a leftist Twitter mob, it changed it to something more predictably liberal.
There will be no danger of backlash when it’s Democrat Biden looking for unity.
Lisa Lerer’s long front-page profile of Biden, “A President Forged by Setbacks as Much as by His Success,” turned his negatives into positives:
To Mr. Biden’s friends and family, his success at winning the White House is proof that there is something fundamentally reassuring about his character — his loyalty, his empathy and his experience — that Americans want after four years of an unpredictable and chaotic administration. Even when he misspeaks, they argue, it underscores his authenticity, the journey of a man who moved through the darkness of the losses of his young wife, baby daughter and adult son to remain optimistic about politics, the country and his own destiny.
Lerer also insisted Biden isn’t really the lefty he played to win the nomination:
While Mr. Biden has pivoted left with his party, he remains a centrist at his core, determined to unite a frayed body politic and persuade some Republicans to support his agenda.
Also on Thursday’s front page was David Sanger’s “news analysis” whose headline says it all: “A Call for the Return of Civility, And Truth as a Guiding Light.” (“[A]n era of constant turmoil and falsehood ended.”)
Congressional reporter Carl Hulse picked an odd lead anecdote for his related “Congressional Memo” analysis, reaching back nearly a quarter century to suggest former president Bill Clinton was unfairly impeached by congressional Republicans.
WASHINGTON — Back at the Capitol for his second inaugural in 1997, Bill Clinton delivered a blunt appeal to the hardened Republican majorities confronting him in Congress.
“The American people returned to office a president of one party and a Congress of another,” Mr. Clinton told the lawmakers and the crowd gathered at the Capitol. “Surely they did not do this to advance the politics of petty bickering and extreme partisanship they plainly deplore.”
Less than two years later, House Republicans impeached Mr. Clinton, suggesting his words were not exactly taken to heart….
Hulse made no troublesome mention of President Clinton being charged with perjury and obstruction of justice over a sexual affair with a 22-year-old intern. Who needs that context? Hulse simply promised pressure on Republicans to compromise from voters (not to mention reporters):
Republicans will come under pressure to cooperate from voters, Washington interests that would like to see Congress make some progress on big issues and even their former colleague….[Sen. Mitch] McConnell’s push for preservation of the filibuster was looming as a serious impediment to getting the Senate down to business. Some Democrats want to be able to eliminate the 60-vote threshold if Republicans join in lock step against the new administration’s initiatives.