“What? Oh yeah, I heard that too. He’s terrified of having to answer questions that aren’t scripted or screened for him in advance. What else would you expect from that coward?”
No doubt such was the reaction of many, many folks last Sunday when news spread that senile president Joe Biden had spurned Fox News regarding the semi-traditional presidential interview during the lead-up show to the Super Bowl. I’m not exactly sure why the practice of asking the current Oval Office occupant topical news questions on one of the biggest non-holidays of the year started, but every commander-in-chief since George W. Bush in 2004 has obliged the network covering the game.
I’m guessing former President Donald Trump looked forward to the annual opportunity and couldn’t give a darn who was seated in the opposite chair posing the queries. (Note: Trump himself declined in 2018.)
It just so happened this year’s lucky broadcast team was from Fox News, which complicated the matter for poor ol’ Joe and his ever-worried team of handlers and steerers. Assuming that the Fox folks wouldn’t distribute a set of questions or topics beforehand, the chances of catching the octogenarian bumbler in an embarrassing moment went up a hundred-fold when they figured he couldn’t be protected by friendly media interviewers.
Practically every political follower knows Joe doesn’t like one-on-one interviews, the kind where Biden must appear knowledgeable as well as quick-on-his-feet, skills the man couldn’t dream of possessing. It was just a few months ago, for example, that Joe said he couldn’t believe how irresponsible Trump was for keeping classified documents in his place of residence. How many times have we seen that particular 60 Minutes clip played since Joe’s abodes were ransacked to see what he himself was hiding?
For all we know senile Joe and Dr. Jill – and Hunter – have their own collection of Chinese spy balloons stored in their beach house somewhere. Or perhaps that Corvette Joe is so proud of is really a Chinese Communist Party balloon disguised as an American classic car to avoid detection.
At any rate, though few gameday revelers even took note that Biden had bailed on Fox, some political pundits claim he missed an important opportunity to go toe-to-toe with his detractors. In a piece titled “Joe Biden’s Missed Opportunity to Wrestle With Fox News”, the always interesting but rarely on point Jeff Greenfield wrote at Politico Magazine:
“[T]here’s something more than political calculation at stake here: It’s the idea that if you are asking the country for the most important job of all, you should be willing to do more than speak to a succession of cheering squads…
“[M]eeting with the ‘other team’ runs the risk of angering the most fervent supporters on ‘your team.’ I’ve heard plenty on the left say that even appearing on Fox News gives undeserved respect and legitimacy to a force for evil.
“But Pete Buttigieg regularly refutes that view. And I think if Joe Biden had brought the energy and feistiness of his State of the Union address to that Fox interview, he would have given as good as he got, and might even have picked up a handful of new supporters. The way our elections have been going recently, that could make all the difference. And anyway… ‘couldn’t hurt.’”
Greenfield's is a nice hypothesis, isn’t it? He essentially suggests for every one hundred Super Bowl pregame viewers turned off by another cotilion of lies from America’s president that senile Joe might’ve convinced one or two others to support him and his Democrat cause in the next election.
Seriously? I doubt it. I liken this to fishing where the fish ain’t. When I was a kid, I used to go to the end of the dock and cast out lures hoping that maybe one wayward Northern Pike was lurking in shallow water with no feeding stream or food source nearby to attract them. My brother used to tell me it was a waste of time, but hey, you never know, right? “Anyway, it couldn’t hurt.”
I never caught a fish under such circumstances and it’s highly doubtful senile Joe could convince anyone of anything – at least those who already recognize him as dwelling in the upper tier of obnoxious political liars and sell-job artists of all-time. Joe Biden’s great at telling whoppers with a straight face, but he’s lied so often and so unconvincingly that no one believes his spiel anymore – including Democrats who tolerate him simply because he seems to win elections.
In other words, there wasn’t much to gain from senile Joe getting all dressed up on Super Bowl Sunday and ordering his straight men to hover just out of camera range and to let him answer the questions the way he wanted to. You know, let Joe be Joe!
There’s another inherent flaw in Greenfield’s reasoning from the outset. The Super Bowl gameday interview may have been conducted by a Fox News personality, but much of the audience – pretty hard to calculate the percentage – was of a “mixed” political variety. Don’t Democrats watch the pregame too? Heck, if LeBron James and a bevy of “woke” public figures were actually at the game, there were countless others munching on delectable fattening munchies in their living rooms along with the rest of us ordinary schleps with common sense and an eye on our pocket books (wary of senile Joe’s IRS).
Put it this way – I didn’t tune in to the game because it was on Fox. I usually watch regardless of whether CBS or NBC or ABC (do they even do it anymore?) is carrying the event. And the networks rotate every year, so it’s not like anyone realizes what channel the game is on until they pick up the remote and search the guide for the correct number to tune to.
There’s yet another side to the Super Bowl interview thing as well. Not too long ago when it was Barack Obama sitting in the hot chair pontificating and spinning his latest “woke” crap into coherent answers from sometimes pointed questions, I’d turn the channel to golf or some other more approachable topic for the occasion. Who wants to see the phony nonsense anyway?
Each president appears to handle the concept differently.
The 45th president wasn’t like Biden is now – he appreciated a good battle and directly confronted the media every chance he got. Donald Trump drew – and continues to draw – much criticism for his willingness to engage with journalists who openly oppose him. Conservatives often ask why Trump subjects himself to answering biased questions from a liberal point-of-view and with little chance of ever making sufficient inroads with the hater crowd to make the effort worth it.
Last year, for example, Trump agreed to a series of in-person sessions with New York Times writer Maggie Haberman (who was preparing a book), someone who’s not exactly renowned for friendly reporting of the former president. Trump grew so fond of Haberman that he allegedly called her his “psychiatrist” and invited others to trust her with personal observations as well.
Trump clearly does not subscribe to the “touch a hot stove” theory of dealing with the media, though lately there haven’t been a flood of Trump interviews with his enemies – at least since he announced his third campaign for president. The Donald isn’t exactly hiding from the spotlight, but he’s definitely being more measured and cautious than in times past.
But did senile Joe Biden truly make an error by skipping the Fox interview as Greenfield insisted? Well, yes and no.
Yes, Biden should’ve sat for the brief chat because other presidents have done it and it looks petty and childish for the current one to avoid the confrontation just because it’s on Fox. As argued above, there are probably just as many Democrats watching the Super Bowl as Republicans – maybe even more if the “woke” commercials were any indication – and therefore senile Joe skipped a splendid chance to go before tens of millions of people in a format that usually makes a president look approachable.
Joe Biden could use all the PR boost he could get, couldn’t he? Maybe he could just pass off the same old lies and then go grab a crabcake and watch some of the game himself before he nodded off before sunset like every other day?
Or, no, Biden didn’t give up anything by telling Fox that he wouldn’t be appearing. Senile Joe was coming off his State of the Union address where he plainly stated everything he had to say – and wasn’t the least bit interested in taking questions on his classified document scandal or his mis-handling of the Chinese spy balloon situation.
He had everything to lose and nothing to gain. He made the right call to reject Fox.
Like many other matters of temporary political importance, it’s doubtful anyone will recall – or care – that senile Joe Biden didn’t appear for an interview on Super Bowl Sunday. With the intense political spinning that goes on every day in the White House press room, we’ve learned not to expect truthful information. And that goes double when Biden is providing the answers.
Joe Biden economy
Biden cognitive decline
January 6 Committee
Build Back Better
Marjorie Taylor Green
2024 presidential election