Trump Rages After Mainstream Media Follow 'McCaskill Rule' On "Mental Midget" Biden's Use Of False 'Melania' Story

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Feb 29, 2024 - 07:40 PM

Authored by Jonathan Turley,

We recently discussed the call by MSNBC contributor and former Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill for the media to stop fact checking Joe Biden before the election. Some in the media appear to have gotten the McCaskill memo in running the false story repeated by Biden in his interview this week on NBC. 

What is particularly striking is that the President is again being accused of spreading disinformation, the very basis used by his Administration to censor critics and groups. His Administration even pushed LinkedIn to bar those who have spread disinformation.

President Joe Biden’s interview on “Late Night With Seth Meyers” has produced the usual diametrically opposite reviews. On the left, he was witty, spontaneous, and fun. On the right, he was wooden, scripted, and feeble.

However, there is a new controversy over the President repeating a debunked claim that his leading opponent, Donald Trump, cannot remember the name of his wife. He was not alone. The usual media outlets repeated the false claim and then refused to correct their false stories.  It follows a familiar pattern of media adopting the most absurd interpretation of remarks while ignoring the obvious meaning.

President Biden has long been challenged over false statements that range from accusing mounted border agents of whipping migrants to claiming that his son died in Iraq to embellishing his own history.  He was recently called out for falsely accusing Special Counsel Robert Hur for raising his son’s death. It was the President who raised the death.

What is striking about this incidence is that the falsity of this story was immediately called out and some in the media had the integrity to identify it as disinformation.

Yet, it did not matter to Biden or his staff.

The interview seemed highly scripted and it appeared that the questions were given to Biden in advance by NBC (as demonstrated by Biden holding his aviator glasses in anticipation of a line from Meyers as a prop).

If so, it appears that his staff also did not care that the story was untrue.

Biden is trying to control the damage after a special counsel cited his diminished faculties as a reason for not indicting him. On the show, this issue of the President’s age was gently raised and Biden responded:

“Well, a couple things. Number one, you got to take a look at the other guy. He’s about as old as I am, but he can’t remember his wife’s name!”

It was a reference to the claim that  Trump called his wife Melania “Mercedes” during the keynote speech at a recent Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) event. However, many pointed out that he was addressing Mercedes Schlapp, the wife of CPAC founder Matt Schlapp.

The usual suspects spread the false claim such as IndependentMetro, and other sites as well as many on social media. Some liberal sites joyfully reported the false statement, opining “calling your wife by another woman’s name in bed or anywhere else is near most always a death sentence. Trump called his wife, on stage and in front of a room full of people, Mercedes. Maybe he just confused to two because they’re both expensive to keep up when they get older.”

Even for some of the outlets, the fact that it was untrue was only mentioned in passing while seemingly praising Biden for going on the attack on Trump. Salon ran an article entitled “He can’t remember his wife’s name!”: Biden turns the tables on Trump over age attacks, it then buried the fact that he was referring to Schlapp deep in the column.

“Turning the tables” was using something that his own administration would consider malicious disinformation.

Forbes said the President “flipped the script” on Trump with the attack.

The usual experts came forward to issue medical judgments. Dr. John Gartner, a psychologist and former professor at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, “suggested that it’s actually Trump, not President Biden, who seems to be showing signs of mental decline.”

What is most worrisome about this news cycle is that it is reminiscent of some of the most outrageous false claims spread in the media. In the migrant whipping story, there was a video proving that the claim was untrue. However, Biden and the media continued to spread the false story. The President even promised to punish the agents who had not even been given the benefit of an investigation.

Former president Trump was not having any of it and went off via X: “Don’t associate me with the ‘mental midget’...”

This controversy comes on the heels of an interview from another New York Times editor acknowledging that the newspaper buried stories like the Hunter Biden laptop out of concern that it might undermine Joe Biden’s election.

Using this debunked claim in a personal attack by the President clearly thrilled his followers. However, it should worry all of us. There are legitimate questions about the age of both candidates. Moreover, many of us have called out former President Trump for personal attacks. The same vigilance should apply to President Biden.