Members of the liberal media have quickly changed their tunes about presidential power grabs during the coronavirus pandemic based on the occupant of the White House.
President Biden ignited a political firestorm on Thursday when he announced the Labor Department would enforce a vaccine mandate on businesses with 100 or more employees, which has faced pushback by Republican governors across the country.
While the legality of Biden’s mandate is uncertain as the policy will likely be challenged in court, news organizations appeared compliant to the White House, a major shift from when President Trump threatened to override governors who ordered houses of worship to shut down in the early months of the pandemic.
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Political commentator Drew Holden, who has become Twitter famous for his viral threads calling out media hypocrisy, lambasted CNN’s coverage of both presidents, comparing yesterday’s headline, “Biden announces new vaccine mandates that could cover 100 million Americans,” to last year’s headline, “Trump claims without evidence that he can ‘override’ governors in ‘many different ways’ if they don’t allow houses of worship to reopen.”
In another pair of headlines, CNN knocked Trump for “stoking” his base while cheerleading Biden’s mandate, insisting companies who have to enforce the order will “love” it. Additionally, one CNN headline declared Trump “can’t” override the governors while celebrating Biden’s “have at it” response to his GOP critic set to challenge his mandate.
“Honestly, this could’ve been a thread just dedicated to @CNN,” Holden quipped.
Holden called out The Associated Press for its skewered framing for both presidents, one writing “Trump continues to claim broad powers he doesn’t have” and the other “BIDEN: GOP governors ‘cavalier’ for resisting vaccine rules.”
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ABC News insisted that Trump’s claimed authority over the governors was “unclear” while taking Biden’s “have at it” remark towards governors at face value.
The Washington Post relied on the “GOP pounces” trope last year with the headline, “Trump seizes on new rallying cry to reopen the country, but Democrats see caution as an advantage” in comparison to its pro-Biden headline, “Federal mandate takes vaccine decision off employers’ hands.”
The parody Twitter account Mrs. Brassenstein also got into the media comparisons, calling out PBS NewsHour correspondent Yamiche Alcindor for her inconsistent responses to presidential power grabs.
“Pres Trump says he will ‘override the governors’ if they don’t follow new CDC guidance and open places of worship this weekend,” Alcindor wrote. “Context: The 10th Amendment of the Constitution says powers not delegated to federal government are reserved to the states.”
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However, Alcindor did not provide any “context” for Biden, tweeting “Biden goes after GOP govs without saying names saying: Talk about bullying schools…If these governors won’t help us beat the pandemic, I will use my powers as president to get them out of the way. He added federal govt will restore 100% of pay for anyone targeted over mandates.”
The user also called out the leftwing news site Raw Story for its 2020 headline, “‘The authority is total’: Trump says he can force governors to reopen the country” and its 2021 headline, “GOP governors throw tantrums after Biden takes action to mandate vaccinations.”