Americans can be forgiven for suffering a collective whiplash over the last 13 years in how the liberal media views presidents. They desperately wanted Barack Obama to succeed. Then, they fought Donald Trump for four years. Now, they are attempting to rescue the floundering Joe Biden. Perhaps one of the best examples of working on the behalf of Obama came 13 years ago last month.
Then-MSNBC host Chris Matthews came out and said it was his “job” to help the Democrat be a success. Appearing on the November 6, 2008 Morning Joe, Matthews felt reluctant to criticize Rahm Emanuel for not immediately taking the job of chief-of-staff. This exchange between the Hardball host and Joe Scarborough followed:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: You know what? I want to do everything I can to make this thing work, this new presidency work, and I think that —
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Is that your job? You just talked about being a journalist!
MATTHEWS: Yeah, it is my job. My job is to help this country.
SCARBOROUGH: Your job is the make this presidency work?
MATTHEWS: To make this work successfully. This country needs a successful presidency.
What a window into how MSNBC operates The journalists at that network do everything they can to undermine Republicans, but Obama, Biden, now it’s time to get in line and loyally support the government.
Such an attitude explains why the networks covered Trump’s bad polling almost twice as much as Biden’s bad polls. It explains why on Monday, when the President dropped to the historically low number of 38 percent, ABC, CBS and NBC ignored the bad news. On Thursday, when he dropped to an even lower 36 percent, they ignored that as well.
But, as Chris Matthews said, “I want to do everything I can to make this thing work, this new presidency work.... it is my job.” True in 2008 for journalists and true in 2021.
For more examples from our FLASHBACK series, which we call the NewsBusters Time Machine, go here.