Try Not to Puke in Reading This State-Run Propaganda of WashPost on Biden in Ireland

April 14th, 2023 12:15 PM

Posted Thursday afternoon for Friday’s print edition on page A-12, Washington Post White House reporter Tyler Pager was joined by colleague and chief Biden apple polisher Matt Viser in a syrupy propaganda piece on President Biden’s unofficial vacation to Ireland that sounded like it was originally written in North Korean state media for a trip taken by Kim Jong-un to a missile launch.

Pager and Viser must have had weak knees in crafting the headline and subhead: “Biden, the American president, seems awfully at home in Ireland; Biden this week has repeatedly wondered how anyone could leave the Emerald Isle.”

With takes like this, how are we supposed to consistently (if ever) take their journalism seriously?

“President Biden stood in a lavishly decorated room at the Irish president’s residence on Thursday,” they began, “declaring just how comfortable he feels during this visit to his ancestral homeland.”

Gushing over how Biden wished he could stay in this “incredible place” and even told “all you American reporters” about it, they proclaimed that the “sentiment pervaded a day of ceremony here as Biden met with Irish political leaders, addressed the Irish Parliament and engaged in Irish sport (which turned out to carry more risks than his speeches, as a ball whizzed by his left shoulder and nearly struck him).”

There wasn’t even a hint of adversarial reporting or wonderments about why Biden sought on this taxpayer-funded playdate that included a selfie with a journalist and a personal speech to Irish Parliament (click “expand”):

An Irish reporter asked for a selfie (which he granted). He rang a bell three times — the first, he said, “for Ireland” and the second for “all my Irish ancestors." And the third? “For peace.”

Biden may have been born in Scranton, Pa., have spent a half-century in Washington and own two houses in Delaware, but this week, Ireland sounded like his true native land.

“It feels wonderful. Feels like home,” he said on Wednesday afternoon.

“It feels like home,” he said in the evening.

“When you’re here, you wonder why anyone would ever want to leave,” he added. “No, I mean it.”

It was a notable message for the president of the United States, whose job description includes repeatedly extolling it as the greatest country in the world, as he wondered aloud at times why his ancestors ever left.

Many here agreed. “You are one of us,” said Seán Ó Fearghaíl, speaker of the lower house of the Irish Parliament, as he introduced Biden for a speech to Parliament on Thursday.

When Biden stepped to the podium, he seemed far happier than during his addresses to Congress. He looked skyward, smiled, and said, “Well, Mom, you said it would happen.”

Fact-checkers weren’t present when Pager and Viser passed along Biden criticizing “the safety of one of the United States’ most popular sports” in American football “and praised one of Ireland’s” in rugby, which also involves men running towards each other and at full speed. While the kinds of injuries in U.S. football are more severe, one rugby blog concluded it’s “more dangerous…in the sense that a player is more likely to get hurt while playing.”

Pager and Viser moved from one gooey happening to another, including Biden signing “a guest book at the home of the Irish president” and what he insisted were how one of his grandfathers would tell him to “remember the best drop of blood in you is Irish.”

A few more Biden quotes from these stenographers for posterity (about the importance of “values”) and they wound down by admitting there wasn’t a particular reason for going other than Biden felt like it:

Unlike most presidential trips overseas, there were few policy objectives for this visit. He met several Irish leaders whom he had also seen in Washington on St. Patrick’s Day, and the official summaries of the meetings were nearly identical to the ones sent out last month.

Instead of criticizing that as a waste or something many Americans can’t afford to do themselves in this economy, Pager and Viser defended it (click “expand”):

But the emotional resonance seemed greater for Biden because the meetings were unfolding on Irish soil. “We warmly welcome you back to your roots,” Ó Fearghaíl said.

Biden was also given a signed book of poetry written by Seamus Heaney, whose wife was in the audience for his speech.

“I’m at the end of my career, not the beginning,” Biden said, appearing to grow reflective toward the end of his remarks to Parliament.

“The only thing I bring to this career after my aged — as you can see how old I am — is a little bit of wisdom,” he added. “I come to the job with more experience than any president in American history. Doesn’t make me better or worse. But gives me few excuses.”

It actually wasn’t surprising as, after all, this also provided them with a largely free trip to Europe to pal around with their fellow leftists in the press corps.