Media suddenly challenging Biden, but can they keep it up?

It doesn’t happen that often, but President Biden has been getting some bad press lately.

The media have suddenly awakened to challenge the White House over the classified documents scandal. Meanwhile, a major news network painted an outrageous picture of a Biden family that constantly tries to cash in on its access to power.

These were legitimate stories because they either are now, or soon will be, major problems for Mr. Biden. And reporters covered them that way.

The question for the media now becomes: Can they keep it up?

There’s no doubt that reporters have sunk their teeth into the drama over Mr. Biden’s mishandling of sensitive government documents in multiple locations. On the ongoing day-to-day story, the White House press corps has done a solid job — better recently, for sure — of staying on top of press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and (unsuccessfully) demanding transparency.

And some are even faulting the White House’s response and its shifting story.

“That looks, in these early days, like the kind of dodgy, hide-the-ball behavior that Biden should have been above,” wrote Time columnist Mona Charen. “That is demoralizing for those who believe that Biden’s chief accomplishment — and purpose — as president has been to restore a modicum of trust to a nation that has been sunk in suspicion and bitterness for too long.”

(To be fair, this bit of criticism was in the second half of a column that was mostly about Ms. Charen’s described sadness that the document scandal has robbed Mr. Biden of the moral high ground over former President Donald Trump, who has had his own issues with classified materials after his presidency.)

And then, you knew there would be a Hunter Biden angle, because there always is. That’s what happens when selling access to “the Big Guy” is the family business and the ne’er-do-well son is the bagman.

So, it was not surprising that Hunter’s name has appeared in some (mostly conservative) coverage of the scandal because he once lived in the Delaware house where a batch of the classified documents were found, even claiming to own the place at one time. The idea that he had access to secret government documents, which could have been relevant to his foreign business deals, is not far-fetched at all.

And whether by coincidence or not, CNN this week published a lengthy look at the Biden family cash machine and how extensively the president’s son and brothers have traded on his name.

Even though Mr. Biden often gives his “word as a Biden,” according to CNN, “that’s not the only way the Biden family name has been used.”

It was a preview of what CNN expects from House Republican investigations in their new majority, and it didn’t sound pretty if your name happens to be Biden.

“[A]s he pursued business deals across multiple continents, Hunter Biden arranged meetings between his associates and his father,” CNN reported in one of the more damning passages. (Remember that the elder Biden has repeatedly denied ever discussing business with his son.)

But yes, it’s still true that the president has staunch protectors across much of the media.

In addition to the scathing research piece on the Bidens, CNN also ran a story suggesting that the classified document scandal is merely the result of a confusing classification system.

And on ABC’s “The View,” Joy Behar wanted to give Mr. Biden a pass, because “we don’t think Biden is a liar and a thief, so we give him the benefit of the doubt.”

But there are as many strong signs that at least some journalists recognize that what’s happening to Mr. Biden is news. Now is when we find out if reporters are in it for the long haul, as they certainly were while Mr. Trump was president.

It will be news if Republicans ramp up investigations as promised. For example, the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop computer deserve a full examination to determine how deeply his father may have been involved in the business end of his family’s antics.

This may be a bitter pill for some reporters to swallow, naturally, because many originally refused to cover the laptop at all or, if they did write about it, disparaged it as Russian propaganda. But the laptop is now widely regarded as authentic, so there should be no impediment to covering it.

So that brings us to where we are today, which is nowhere close to the end. To the credit of many in the media, Mr. Biden’s current and upcoming problems have been well documented. And the reporters who have been covering them owe it to the American people to see the stories all the way through.

• Tim Murtaugh is a Washington Times columnist and the founder and principal of Line Drive Public Affairs, a communications consulting firm where he advises political candidates and corporate clients.

Source: WT