Get Me Meacham! Biden Brings Back the Media’s Good Old Days

Nov 22, 2020 · 83 comments
Patrick (Pennsylvania)
I'm very discerning and thoughtful about the news I get. TV is Checkers to the Press' Chess. For that reason, I disdain Television and adore the Press.
Patrick (Pennsylvania)
"All The News That's Fit To Print", and Trump surely was a "Fit" to print. It was by his design you all fawned over him, a Television actor trained to act in sensational ways daily, except of course, on weekends when few watched TV. Good old Obama was characterized as "No Drama 'Bama". I yearn for those days again. Particularly addressing the distinguished Historian Meacham I would say that having viewed an important documentary titled "President Betrayed" concerning John Kennedy, a great lesson is to be learned as Kennedy consulted frequently and smartly with another distinguished historian of the times on his staff that was likely instrumental in defusing the precarious Cuban Missile Crisis. Kennedy had many questions and answers helped guide him to save the world. I would certainly employ Mr. Meacham if only to save the nation with knowledge to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past. It's a battle you know, as history repeats because people repeat their knowledge of history. Biden needs the goodness of Meacham to prevent the badness of the worst.
Binoy Shanker Prasad (Dundas Ontario)
In any event, normalcy must be restored. What happened in the White House press briefing room for the last four years was anything but normal. Do we have a count of how many press secretaries and deputy press secretaries passed through that podium?
Steve J (Mello Park CA)
Monday Nov 23, I find the front page news about Bide's cabinet picks rther exciting, John Kerry for Climate czar Janet Yellen to possibly lead the Treasury Dept The latino who came up with DACA to run DHS and so on All stable, mature & experienced choices to help run the country That is EXCITING
Sandie (Florida)
The media created the monster. Trump was irresistable, just so "entertaining", and the media knew "he was bad for the country but good for CBS". Would that the media has learned something over the last five years. I look forward to hearing nothing about him ASAP. (Well, I can hope....)
Jim Hackett (San Francisco)
Your article today was so welcome. Finally, a return to some place other than Helter Skelter politics. A return to civility. Decorum. Time to think things through. Deliberate action based on facts and knowledgeable input. And your choice of Jon Meacham to illustrate this return to thoughtful government was right on point. Thank you. This is the first piece I have read about the impending change that has me finally feeling very up that we will really experience a return to some good version of normalcy. Even given the pandemic. Jim Hackett, San Francisco
Rosalind (Cincinnati)
I pray we have seen the end of “Twitter.” Bring back The Press.
Mary (NJ)
Mr. Smith, I was never addicted to Donald Trump’s tweets. I don’t follow him. Those addicted to Trump are, I suspect, political news junkies or reporters of many stripes. I look forward to a President who rarely tweets.
hart (tehachapi california)
Trump spent four years branding the presidency, he plans on taking the brand with him. Building a brand is not the same thing as lying. In marketing everyone knows brands are just advertising gimmicks. Pretty models, handsome actors, fake stories, scripts and a little music. Trump will manage his presidential brand the same way he managed his real estate and Apprentice brands. Trump will always be the biggest expert, most successful and best president ever. People laughed at alternative facts. No one is laughing anymore. By branding himself “The Authority on the Presidency itself” Trump could easily make himself an “Alternative President.” By virtue of four years in the White House Trump can say anything he wants and a lot of people will believe him. I don’t think it’s a stretch, to imagine one White House in Washington DC and Trump’s white house in Mar-a-Lago. Two white house press corps and two competing stories are sure to follow. Presidential authority has rested on “our” understanding that presidents are the guardians of our national security. That is made possible by our willingness to trust without proof. If Trump uses his presidential brand against Biden, this country is in one heck of a lot of trouble. Journalists better figure out how to cope with this - the deadline is January 20, 2021.
marytango (nyc)
Monday, February 15 2021. The first day #PresidentHarris starts trending on Twitter.
Ann Strosnider (Southworth, WA)
All I can say is it would be a welcome relief to have a president who does not post on Twitter and certainly does not use social media to announce important decisions like hirings and firings. If this is considered boring, I will gladly take it.
KMW (New York City)
Most of the media never treated President Trump fairly and were biased against him from the very start. Even during this last election President Trump was asked some very difficult and pressing questions whereas Joe Biden was asked only softball questions. For example, what is your favorite ice cream flavor. They treated him with kid gloves and tiptoed around the serious questions which were rarely raised. Recently on television they compared the way in which the media covered a Biden and a Trump press conference. It was chilling. Joe Biden was not asked any questions and was quietly allowed to leave the room. The Trump team was being shouted down by the reporters who were screaming and yelling as they walked away. Where is the equity in all of this. It just does not exist with the liberal media when they are dealing with conservatives. It has always been this way but with the Trump presidency it had gotten even worse. They will treat Joe Biden in a totally different way. With a Joe Biden presidency we can expect more of the easy and carefree questioning that President Trump was never granted. The difference between the two men is that President Trump could handle the difficult questions and Joe Biden cannot. It will certainly be a different presidency but not necessarily an equitable one with regard to the press. They detested President Trump and it was extremely obvious. Let’s see how they handle Joe Biden. They love him and will treat him gingerly.
hart (tehachapi california)
@KMW I saw things differently than you did. People hate people who frighten them. Some people loved Trump because he made them feel “safe”. Trump frightened other people and they hated him for that. Personally, I found Trump's effect on the foreign press chilling. Once open coverage was suddenly condensed to a quick mention of events - reading more like a schedule than a news story. Op-eds and analysis were almost non-existent. It seemed that America had become a forbidden subject. To cross Trump was to invite a global take-down. It was safer to say nothing at all. Their underlying fear could not be disguised. The German media saw something familiar in Trump and spoke out loudly. They were more afraid of what could happen, than they were of Trump. I think it fair to say that Trump “triggered” Germans the same way he triggered so many Americans. Trump triggered fear. As I said, people hate people who frighten them - they do not love them.
Charlie Havi (Florida)
Let's hope things are" dull" again. It would be a tremendous relief from the constant chaos of the Trump years.
KMW (New York City)
The print media has been dying for a long time and will not come back. People have gotten used to reading newspapers and magazines online and find it more convenient and less expensive. It is wishful thinking for media companies to think that people will return to print but that is just a pipe dream. They will not.
Nancy fleming (Shaker Heights ohio)
I know the media likes to jump on ‘ what they say appearsTo be’. However when we listen or read what the President Elect has said or done, we will decide for ourselves.Going into office Soon He and his Vice President are more welcome then I can put into words. Trump will not be missed by anyone I know willing to admit it. I personally have not changed my opinion ,He is a Sociopath, Amoral and the sooner he’s gone the better off we’ll be.I do hope He’s prosecuted for every atrocity he’s committed!All of them.
StuAtl (Georgia)
I summarize this notion as, "Restraint is old-fashioned." It's a little bit like a ballplayer trotting head down around the bases after a home run years ago where they now blow kisses to the sky and dance around the bags. We are in an Era of Ostentation when losers take victory laps and sober heads are ignored. It's one reason a carnival barker like Trump makes it into power in the first place, the sheer force of his bluster overriding his many shortcomings. Slow and steady won this race, thank God, and Diamond Joe will be be best served to keep that 'Vette under the speed limit.
Sean (Durham)
The only reason American media was able to resurrect itself was because Trump sells. Regardless of whether you hate him or not, people are fascinated by him. It’s almost an addiction. I fail to see how how an unprovocative straight shooter like Biden will revive media formats that have largely been usurped by 24/7 news app subscriptions that basically trigger their audiences into frothy rage and righteousness by waving Trump in front of their faces. This is wishful thinking from a columnist one would expect to know better.
Rosalind (Cincinnati)
@Sean.....There is a “public” out there starved for unbiased presentation of facts and in-depth context. We’ve had it with infotainment. Spectacle is over.......get it?
Laurabeth Michels (Whitefish MT)
I think it is more the media's addiction to the "Trump news cycle" than the public. The public feels like hampsters running according to the news cycle and we just want to get off the wheel, we're exhausted.
Mutt Furball (The Great Flyover)
And to all the late night show’ve still got McConnell.
Charlie (NJ)
I remember well John McCain’s response to a question about the media. The first time he ran for President John flew with media representatives on his plane but the second time he ran he stopped the practice. When asked why his answer was the media had changed and was more interested in asking the gotcha questions. I can’t see that changing in the slightest. I wish Joe the best.
Tony (NYC)
I suspect this column will be prescient when people look back from 2023 and contrast Trump vs. Biden in terms of relations with the media.
Ms. Pea (Seattle)
I'm so looking forward to the end of Trump's drama-of-the-minute Twitter blurbs. Trump likes Twitter because he has a short attention span and a limited vocabulary. And, he loves exclamation points!!! AND ALL CAPS!!! Biden is thoughtful, intelligent, articulate. The Twitter format isn't really made for someone like him. I'm sure his communications team will keep Tweeting for him, but I doubt we'll hear of major policy changes or cabinet appointments that way. And, what a relief it will be to have the whining, complaining, self-centered Trump out of the Twitter limelight (at least, I hope he will be). After all, he'll be just another Twitter troll now. No one important.
Brian (New York)
Cable news constantly stokes anger, fear, and hatred of the other. This produces an adrenaline reaction that is very addictive and very destructive.
Mutt Furball (The Great Flyover)
@Brian And Fox is excellent at what they do.
Me (here)
@Brian Agree - I have not watched cable news going on ten years now. Garbage. I do that weird anachronistic thing called "reading."
margaret ewing (niagara falls, new york)
Thank you President elect Bidden....for bringing manners and dignity back to the office of never know who is watching you...
Will mainstream media coverage during the Biden administration be more like cheerleading or more like actual journalism? Lets use the same exact journalistic standards as in the last four years. For example, the NY Times included many, many 'True' statements in its fact checking articles of Trump and Republicans and then wrote lengthy editorialized statements for a different view/opinion -- in fact checking articles/statements, which are by definition supposed to be cut-and-dry. There were even fact checks of statements of fact made by Attorney General Barr in his sworn testimony to Congress (subject to perjury standards), including pending fact checks not even completed, but stated to cast doubt. This was in print. We'll see.
Icarus (Phila.,Pa.)
Another thing missing will be the Media's irrational ,almost pathologic hatred of a President from the day he is inaugurated .
Lemix (Chicago)
@Icarus Sorry but did you mean to say "rational" hatred of the President.......
Sudeaux Pnymb (Willoughby, CT)
@Icarus “Pathological hatred” of a man who, despite incessantly craving extensive media attention throughout his adult life, often called the media “the enemy of the people” and applauded his followers’ threats of physical violence against members of the media is “irrational”? Really? Are you suggesting that it would have been “rational” for the media to have shown love and respect for someone who called all but his most-loyal propagandists in the media his “enemy” and wanted to see them physically harmed? If anything, the pathology is strong in the petulant narcissist who has joined Andrew Johnson as the only members of the Impeached, One-Term, White-Supremacist, United States Presidents Club.
UpstateRob (Altamont, NY)
@Icarus While the hatred may appear pathological, the only thing pathological around here was Trump's lying. The hatred towards the liar was real and well deserved.
Nan Socolow (West Palm Beach, FL)
Can't wait for "The Front Page" (1928) to come back during the Biden Presidency! We've had it with the twitterverse and Trump subverting our democracy with his horrid tweets up the ying-yang. What goes around comes around even a century later. Let's hear a shout out for journalism's rebirth in newspapers, radio and TV during #46's Presidency!
Sally Ann (USA) (Appalachia)
I found this column ageist and condescending.
UpstateRob (Altamont, NY)
@Sally Ann (USA) I do know what you are referring to. All I can say is that using Twitter by a POTUS was absolutely ridiculous from Day 1. While you may be too young to understand factual journalism, it is exactly THAT which creates an informed electorate; as opposed to a mis-nformed, DIS-informed information sent unfiltered directly to the populace without any trace of journalistic (or any other) standards.
John B (NY)
Praise the lord if President Biden never sends out a Tweet. As for Trump's phony "transparency," Trump gets no points for picking and choosing questions in scrums under the chopper, with no follow-ups.President Biden will return to daily press briefings at the White House by an honest, truthful press secretary. If that's not good enough for Buzz Feed,too bad.
John Brown (Washington D.C.)
@John B This healthy relationship with the media will only last as long as you continue to not ask any real questions. Keep throwing Joe those softballs like at the townhalls and debates and it will reap rewards for traditional media. I'm not saying that people won't see through the charade and seek out real news elsewhere, further undermining the (low) trust Americans have in media, and fracturing the market irreparably. But you will have a friendly relationship with Joe and pleasant news conferences, which I am sure is enough for the beltway crowd and correspondents association.
Eric Strunz (Atlanta)
Thanks for covering this interesting dynamic. Amidst the rise of fringe "news" outlets with shoddy reporting and unsubstantiated claims, it can be easy to forget the more nuanced biases and currents that shape quality journalism. I am optimistic that the New York Times will be able to readjust effectively in the next administration and deliver more news on meaningful political activities, less on outrageous presidential tweets. Unfortunately, I also fear that fringe outlets and the fragmentation of our media/cultural landscape will also continue to grow.
Matt (San Francisco)
I have a strong feeling that Biden won't be remotely hip enough for Ben Smith. This is a story that shows Biden's generosity, kindness, and ( for a politician ) modesty. Many years ago I was watching what was then the McNeil/Leher Newshour on PBS. Jim Leher, in his TV studio, was interviewing Biden and Senator Richard Lugar , Republican from Indiana. They were sitting right next to each other in a studio on Capitol Hill. Biden and Lugar were the Chairman and Ranking Member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, exchanging positions depending on which party had the majority. During the interview Biden became particularly animated and exclaimed, pointing at Lugar, said "This guy knows more about foreign policy than all 535 of us, including me" The 535 refers to the numbers of both the Senate, and the House. Lugar, who was the very essence of gravitas, beamed like a kid on Christmas morning. Leher smiled, and so did I. It was obviously sincere and spontaneous, and probably correct. It was the classiest political statement I have ever heard. The absolute antithesis of Donald Trump.
Bill Walker (California)
Sheilagh Murray was right, and not just on this piece. Have to say I was expecting more interesting subjects and livelier writing from the guy who made the bold, gutsy decision to publish the Steele dossier.
Rudran (California)
Going back in time rarely works. Technology has made instant communication with the masses possible - two way communication not just top down. Paper works only one way and that too with a time lag. Going back will not work. The question really is how we combat misinformation in key areas and how we can promote 'deeper analysis' of issues. Or do we conclude that the masses are too ignorant, too short term oriented, too parochial to be trusted and go back to our founder's vision of the 'landed gentry' becoming the ruling class with more votes and greater role in leadership? Now that would truly be going back to 1800!!
Ana Luisa (Belgium)
@Rudran Imho those are two different things. As explained already by the founder of neoconservatism, Irving Kristol, in a WSJ op-ed in the 1970s, a "conservative party" necessarily needs people to vote based on their gut feeling, rather than based on real, respectful debates among people who disagree. That's why 20 years later, when neoconservatism took over the GOP, they simultaneously created Fox News, which would become the most fabulous fake news propaganda machine the democratic West has ever seen. What Trump did is merely watching it daily, and then copy-pasting its most outrageous line into tweets, all while asking his supporters to avoid real debates with those who may think differently at all cost. So yes, the GOP used modern technology (tv and social media). But they used it BECAUSE they concluded long ago already that the masses are to ignorant to be trusted. The challenge for Democrats today is to use social made extremely actively too, BUT this time in service of the "messy truth", as Obama adviser Van Jones calles it his book with the same title. What we urgently need to do is what both Obama and Bernie Sanders constantly repeat: to increase the "political literacy" of ordinary citizens, so that they start realizing that all real, radical, lasting, non-violent democratic change IS step by step change, compromise after compromise, bill after bill, election after election. Trump didn't sign ANY of his major campaign promises into law. Obama did...
Bill (New York)
"The former vice president won the presidency despite reporters’ bored skepticism and editorial board snubs." Does anyone actually believe this? The media bias in favor of Joe Biden was the worst we've ever seen, they've given up even trying to be fair. Ignoring critical news stories that reflected badly on Biden like his influence peddling; lobbying nothing but softball questions at his rare, scripted news conferences; and conversely performing exactly the opposite when it comes to President Trump. It's going to be a very sad next four years for the news media. I expect nothing but fawning and cover-up of all the problems.
Maude (Toronto, Canada)
Have you never heard of Fox “News”? Breitbart? Limbaugh? The bias for trump was WAY stronger, and outright dishonest.
gus (ny)
@Bill are you including Fox News in that? There is bias on both sides in opinion pieces and with the talking heads. But the news reporting is supposed to be fair - and it was. The NY Times did report on those stories (or at times, non-stories -- some laptop that a blind man said he thought somebody who might have been Biden's son had dropped off for repair but never picked up - please! The NY Times doesn't report on "alien abductions" either)
Jack Campbell (Flatbush)
@Bill...yes Sir, the unfortunate state of our union, is that the media, regardless of its leanings has brought the good folks of our nation,to believe their rhetoric and hidden agendas. Irrelevant of who you voted for, getting the truth was and is a sad folly. And that is just the way the media wants it. Just read the blurbs, no need to go in depth, “just think our way and all will be well, And the other guy is evil!” It is all driven by people of extreme wealth, they traffic their agendas that will work for themselves. Look no further. Behold the Devil we have allowed...the good news is, thinking people can prevail, till then, God help us all.
Lefthalfbach (Philadelphia)
Many millions of Americans want the 24-7-365 news bombardment of our sense to end. And we definitely do not Trump's every tweet and utterance covered like it meant something.
Carl Zeitz (Lawrence NJ)
Meachem is not really a historian. He is a polemicist masking his polemicism in stilted histories/bios. He is useful but ultimately not important as a purported historian. Years from now Robert Dallek, James Patterson, Gordon Wood, H.W. Brands, William Leuchtenberg will be read. Meacham? Probably not. When you pop out a book in a few months to fit a moment rather than regard and dissect history, it's a pop out book, but not scholarship.
M Vitelli (Sag Harbor NY)
IF we expect to have more than 4 years in the White House Biden and his group better learn how to use social media to engage with younger voters and get them to support his policies. If Biden had run against anyone except a sociopath that is actively killing Americans he would have lost. It should have been a landslide but trump owned the media. biden better learn how to do this.
Socrates (Verona, N.J.)
The elimination of the use of Twitter by President Joe Biden will be one of the greatest developments in modern American history. A return to plain spoken sanity....oh joy ! Hallelujah !
E. Poole (Wildfire Country, BC)
I love politicians that learn on the job and listen carefully to expert advice. A stellar Canadian example is Joe Clark, who failed as prime minister but years later went on to be an extremely effective External affairs minister who was respected by his staff.
WorkingMan (Vermont)
All well and good, but the real question is will the media, print, read online or watched--return to doing its job? For eight years, we had a president that in the media's eyes could do no wrong. There was insufficient examination of his use of presidential powers from adjustable the ACA to giving himself the power to execute American citizens without a trial to DACA. There wasn't enough comparison between his campaign promises and the reality of his governance. He was the cool president. Any opposition was attributed to his race. That was followed by four years of the president being wrong no matter what he did. As repellent as Trump is, his policies deserved an objective look. A media that's in the bag for one side and is utterly opposed to the other is not helpful in our democracy.
Matt (San Francisco)
@WorkingMan Trump didn't have "policies". He had spontaneous, uninformed, malicious, and narcissistic, rants. I have even read references to a "Trump Doctrine ", as if Trump was a George Kennan. The only doctrine Trump ever had involved salacious "grabbing".
MKlik (Vermont)
"It’s an older set of values," I would just say having a set of values at all will be such a welcome relief.
ALB (Maryland)
"The question now is whether the electorate and we in the media can break our addiction to the Trump news cycle." There is now going to be a "Biden news cycle," and it will look nothing like the truly toxic Trump news cycle. You won't see Biden sending out tweets like Trump's crazy, vicious, vindictive tweets (some of which supposedly passed for "policy") for hours every day. This is because Biden will actually be doing presidential work -- like reading the President's Daily Briefs and huddling with his highly experienced advisors throughout the day and night (rather than golfing or visiting his business properties) to work on the intricacies of foreign and domestic policy. You will see real press conferences -- not press conferences by tweet from the likes of the utterly mendacious Kaylee McInaney. And there will be very little turnover in the Biden Administration -- with zero firings by tweet. In short, the Biden news cycle will be slower than under Trump -- in a very positive way. Necessarily, what has passed for "news" during the last four years during the relentlessly poisonous news cycle under Trump will eventually end with a whimper. Sure, Trump will continue to spew fat-fingered, noxious tweets. But the mainstream media will pay less and less attention to them as Trump becomes more and more of a pathetic side show.
Robbie Heidinger (Westhampton)
Yay! This means Saddam has WMDs! Bring em on!
Dave Peiser (Carlsbad, Ca)
I look forward to a more normal flow of official information from the White House as described, but I’d also like to see some movement on snuffing out some of the worst aspects of the Trump communication operation, as long as we can get around first amendment concerns. Cable news is not going away, so how about obvious labeling of News vs. Opinion? So much of cable news acts like they’re providing “news” when they actually are not, and too many of our voters don’t understand the difference. I’d also like to see the official sources of information from the White House cemented into law. As doctored video and other truly fake news becomes more of a threat, it becomes incredibly important that we know what we’re hearing and seeing is really from the president.
John (NC)
As we can all clearly see from this piece, Joe Biden and the people around him are relics of a time long gone. They’re yes men, buddies who lost track of society’s pulse decades ago just like him. They’re naturally conservative and will resist change or developing progressive policies until their last breath. As Biden’s cognitive decline continues and Kamala slowly takes the reign, it will become increasingly clear that Biden and his way of politics did not win him the White House. And that barring an unprecedented public health crisis and economic downturn sank Trump’s ship. Biden’s brand of rigid, conservative, compromising neutrality will not fundamentally change anyone’s lives for the better. Those are his words, not mine: “nothing will fundamentally change.” This is a recipe for unmitigated disaster moving forward. And unless the younger generation of those who can clearly see the desperate nature of the world we live in sweep aside these people, democrats will always, always lose. Give people something to believe in, something to fight for.
Ana Luisa (Belgium)
@John Lol ... can you please give us an example of something that is part of Biden's campaign platform and that would NOT be something extremely urgent (as well as audacious) to accomplish in the 21st century ... ? Here's just one thing: respecting the democratic legislative process. Why is that such a revolutionary concept? Because it is the ONLY way to obtain real, radical, lasting, non-violent, democratic change. It's the very opposite of "rigid" and "conservative". The GOP doesn't respect it at all. Result? NO major bill passed under Trump at all either. He didn't achieve ANY legislative process at all, contrary to Obama, who managed to sign all his major campaign promises into law. The problem with some of my fellow "progressives" today is that they're not only cultivating ageism, they also reject the democratic process itself, and want change overnight instead. THAT means standing at the sidelines and yelling "not enough!" to those fighting in the mud, each time they manage to bring us one step closer to the finish line. So ... if you really want to fight, why don't you come and join us instead?
John (NC)
@Ana Luisa I wish I lived in your reality. Pretending as if Biden, who may I remind you that -he himself- said that nothing would fundamentally change, will do anything other than what he has promised. Can you please give me an example of anything in his platform that will rise to the occasion? Just like Obama, he's watered down his healthcare plan before the conversation has even begun. He will not attempt to get massive superpacs out of politics. He will not end forever wars in the middle east that have done nothing to help Americans. What does "respecting the democratic legislative process" even mean to you? What a vapid, empty phrase. He won't go after gerrymandering, he won't overhaul campaign finance, he won't go after the electoral college, he won't go after the corrupt and insane conservative judges pushed through, he won't do anything at all to rock the boat. That to me would be respecting the democratic legislative process. The problem with you lukewarm blue dog centrists is that you willingly acknowledge a vast majority of people in this country are exploited and tossed aside by first the private sector then our government. You just don't care. And then you get mad at leftists for caring. And then you lord over everyone else from some misguided and simpleminded moral authority that you feel you have. In my job I work to organize labor & workers. To fight for representation and rights. People abandoned by democrats. So please continue to lecture me on this.
Ana Luisa (Belgium)
The GOP under Trump got one thing right what the Democrats under Obama didn't: if you let the media set the agenda for the 24/7 news cycle, all that people will remember is a focus on personality instead of the democratic legislative process, and as a consequence, a deep cynicism against "Washington" - no matter how popular and great a president may be. So the GOP picked tv watching and tweeting clown Trump as its leader. And the propaganda worked: after a totally disastrous four years, both at home and abroad, 10 million MORE Americans voted for him anyhow. Will the Democrats have learned their lesson this time around? Will they allow Biden to focus on governing, just like Obama did? Or will they take control of the news cycle and make sure that the people who turned out to vote remain engaged and connected to their core message? If not, I'm afraid that by 2023, so many of them will once again have become too cynical and politically illiterate to remember why it's crucial to vote during the mid-terms, and once again, nothing will happen in DC, only because "we the people" didn't give Democrats the legal power to make things happen in the first place ...
chris (texas)
Hallelujah, no more Tweeting! The adults are back.
eeeeee (sf)
yeah but isn't it interesting? for all the horrible things trump did at least he was mostly open about it? not sure I welcome being thrust back into a mystery world where we only get a surface glimpse of what our govt does /thinks. the American empire has a troubled past in foreign and domestic affairs and we need to move forward, not back to some good ol day la la land
Elena (New Brunswick, NJ)
@eeeeee wait, you think Trump was "mostly open" about what he was doing? I beg to differ. In actuality, almost everything Trump told us he was doing was a lie to cover up his incompetence or machinations behind the scenes - thats the height of misdirection and deceit.
badubois (New Hampshire)
Speaking of old-fashioned, one thing's for sure, beginning January 21, the news media are going to re-discover their ethics and not run stories based on anonymous sources, rumors, and innuendo.
eeeeee (sf)
sorry, but this is laughable. did you mean to be sarcastic? the media is a hungry God and needs much to feed it, especially after trump's endless smorgasbord of junk food. just like America the media is founded on some ugly lies and tends to fill up on junk food
gus (ny)
@badubois many stories start as rumors. The publishing of whistleblower accounts is vital to a functioning Democracy. If you see fewer whistleblowers, that is likely because there is less malfeasance going on at the very top. But I'm sure we will still get some scandals. there are, sadly, few newspapers left -- the old rivalry between many different papers, which fueled the investigations into Watergate, for example, is not as vibrant anymore.
Rick (Boston)
The media's good old days? Does that mean a return to an unbiased, objective look at people and events? One can only hope. I will believe it when I see it. If the campaign was any indication, we will be seeing a rising number of puff pieces, soft-ball questions, and questions not asked directed at Mr. Biden by reporters. The selection of topics to write about, the selection of individual words to portray events and people, and the constant, ever-creeping opinion in today's "news" columns should make readers and viewers intensely suspect of the return of the media's "good old days."
Charlie (Austin)
I am so desperate to Google: "White House News", and get absolutely but snippets about the minutia of pending legislation, yesterday's Presidential meeting to present a medal to a fireman who saved a family from a flash flood, and Mrs. BIden having lunch on the porch with the Canadian Prime Minister's wife. -C
SLB (vt)
If the Biden admin uses social media, then they are legitimizing it as a news source. And we know the havoc social media has caused these past five years---even firing people by tweet! Don't do it.
Merrill (McLean VA)
Bush 41 got things -- even things unpopular with his party -- done because he effectively didn't concern himself about being a one-term president. Sure enough, too many Republicans sat out the 92 election, but some good things were done. Biden can do exactly the same thing because he already has said that he will be a one-term president. He therefore doesn't need to lay awake at night trying to befriend an insatiable, self-absorbed press. Do the right thing, Joe, and the country, the people, and the world will be better off.
Merrill (McLean VA)
@TEF New York Post, December 11, 2019. "Biden suggests he would serve only one term if elected president". By Mark Moore
Gail (Fl)
I am a former admirer of Jon Meachum. There is no way to gloss over his public endorsement of Biden’s post election speech when he was in reality its author! He should have admitted immediately that he had crafted the speech and declined to comment.
Koret (United Kingdom)
This is why I subscribe to the NYT as an international subscriber, to actually learn new things about the US and political figures in the US. I really liked this piece by Ben Smith which was highly informative about Joe Biden's early years in politics. I am also looking forward to normal service being resumed, with real journalists reporting on President Biden, instead of the daily rants from Trump on Twitter.
S mattes (Boston)
Great piece...very comforting to have it confirmed that a mature, steady set of hands are at the helm. Also, comforting to know we will read things of substance and import, written by rock- solid reporters such as Ben Smith.
David Cary Hart (North Bay Village, FL)
It's unrealistic to expect Mr. Biden not to use social media. However, we can expect his not to use it as a channel for official business. Tweets to fire people or to issue orders are profoundly undignified missives. Lately, Trump (possibly Scavino at times) has been tweeting all day. Doesn't he have anything better to do? Like managing a pandemic perhaps? The point is that Biden should ditch the personal account; retaining the White House twitter account as a means of informing the public. I never want that image in my head of Joe Biden, on the can, thumbing a smart phone.
Peggy C (Vero Beach, Fl)
@David Cary Hart you know David Trump doesn’t care about the pandemic and the Americans who have died, to him they were weak and their deaths made him lose the election. For Trump the worse condition he leaves this country the better.
DonnaMac (Belmont MA)
I will be thrilled if I never read about another presidential tweet. Bring back the adults. As soon as possible.
Paul (Brooklyn)
I respectfully disagree. While old media never die completely, print media is as dead as it comes. With the tremendous cost of production and the great time delay only the old timers and nostalgia buffs will read it. If you don't go with flow, ie IT advances you are lost.
Nostalgia buff (MA)
@Paul While I consume most of my news online, I hang on to the paper for one reason: taking a break from staring at a screen. Also, I don't understand why anyone reads on their phone. I still have 'perfect' eyesight but find the screen size very unpleasant.
Paul (Brooklyn)
@Nostalgia buff Thank you for you reply. I was waiting for a nostalgia buff to come out of the woodwork! Yes, as mentioned, there will always be people like you and print will never go out completely but it will be (its already is) a shadow of itself. I find reading print can be just as bad or worse that reading from a brightly lit computer and I am a senior. Everybody is different. I stopped reading print for two reasons, not timely and finally too expensive.
Bill White (Ithaca)
@Paul "Print" in the sense of paper may well be dead, but its an irrelevant term. The distinction is whether one reads the news or watches it. I vastly prefer "read" to "watch" media, for a variety of reasons: 1. I can ignore ads (which drive me nuts) 2. I can read much faster than people can speak - and this is undoubtedly also true of for most people 3. because of 2, "read media typically has far more in-depth coverage than "watch media", which really provides more than sound bites.
See also