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(52,070 posts)
Tue May 21, 2024, 02:09 AM May 21

Joan Walsh: Biden Fared Well at Morehouse. So You Didn't Hear About It.


No paywall link

Trust me: If President Joe Biden had faced hecklers or worse when he gave the Morehouse College commencement speech on Sunday, you would know about it. It would have led every newscast and dominated headlines in every paper, another dire portent of his alleged troubles with Black voters coming in November.

Instead, Biden faced a low-key protest, he clapped for and shook hands with the valedictorian who demanded a ceasefire in Gaza, and otherwise fared well. So you probably didn’t hear about it.

I try not to cover the “Biden is treated unfairly” beat. It’s now a dog bites man story. But this was impossible to ignore. I covered many events with Vice President Kamala Harris this last week, and I heard from many reporters how on edge they were, as was the administration, about Biden’s reception at Morehouse. Some student activists had demanded that the administration rescind his invitation, and a few faculty members said they wouldn’t attend the ceremony.
So why wasn’t it a big deal when it went fine?

It’s the nature of news. We cover plane crashes, not safe plane landings. But I think Biden’s soft landing represents smart outreach to the Black community, or communities, that paid off. And that’s news.

28 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Joan Walsh: Biden Fared Well at Morehouse. So You Didn't Hear About It. (Original Post) Nevilledog May 21 OP
Good Dem nooze, McGreedia snooze Bundbuster May 21 #1
KnR Hekate May 21 #2
Yup Lemon Lyman May 21 #3
This is a big deal MadameButterfly May 21 #4
THIS! It's daunting. KPN May 21 #12
That's not what they are in the business for. hadEnuf May 21 #14
That is hardly new misanthrope May 21 #18
One would think we had evolved from that and learned from past lessons. hadEnuf May 21 #20
It seems we are repeating some of the worst events in history MadameButterfly May 24 #28
I love Joan Walsh.. for a long time now. Cha May 21 #5
THIS malaise May 21 #6
Thank you for acknowledging the narrative, Joan. shrike3 May 21 #7
This message was self-deleted by its author AllaN01Bear May 21 #8
im glad things went well for mr . biden. AllaN01Bear May 21 #9
Like everything esle BumRushDaShow May 21 #10
Tellin' us something we all already know -- all too well. KPN May 21 #11
MSNBC on Sunday displaced in ID May 21 #13
The media bias is disgusting. spanone May 21 #15
The article ended with some sage advice for all of us: DFW May 21 #16
Exactly. I'm so fed up with the Republican-owed media. chouchou May 21 #17
My phone's newsfeed headlined people walking out on him. hay rick May 21 #19
But if I really say it, the mainstream press won't play it. usonian May 21 #21
Umm, I heard all about it in the Washington Post. They published a long article about it. Martin68 May 21 #22
The PutiNation being nice to Biden for once? SouthBayDem May 21 #23
A friend from high school was there. xmas74 May 21 #24
At least The Nation followers read about it. I posted Biden's whole speech on Facebook on a "public" setting. ancianita May 21 #25
Watched the whole speech on CNN. I get local Atlanta channels, and they were on it too. Silent Type May 21 #26
K&R Tarheel_Dem May 21 #27

Lemon Lyman

(1,402 posts)
3. Yup
Tue May 21, 2024, 03:03 AM
May 21

But one douche had his back turned during PJB's speech (middle east?), so the students weren't happy with hm visiting


(1,217 posts)
4. This is a big deal
Tue May 21, 2024, 03:16 AM
May 21

How do we get responsible and productive behavior by a leader covered by the media? If we don't, there won't be any, any more.


(2,415 posts)
14. That's not what they are in the business for.
Tue May 21, 2024, 12:22 PM
May 21

They are owned by rabid right conservative corporations who want to stick it to Democrats and Americans, put their own stooges in office to make billions and make more billions while doing it.

On the whole, the media is gone. Hysterical, tabloid propaganda is all that's left.


(1,217 posts)
28. It seems we are repeating some of the worst events in history
Fri May 24, 2024, 03:51 PM
May 24

Things we though unthinkableever again
Here's hoping enough of us are smart enough to avoid the same results

Response to Nevilledog (Original post)


(133,561 posts)
10. Like everything esle
Tue May 21, 2024, 10:49 AM
May 21

they created a "narrative" and then magnified it among and between themselves at every outlet, literally manufacturing a whole new universe out of the fake "vision" of what was going on and would happen, completely ignoring reality. And when it didn't pan out, they slunk away to create a new narrative of -

"Democrats are worried that..."
"Democrats are concerned that..."
"Democrats are struggling with..."
"Democrats grapple with..."

and other nonsense that invokes the same old tired "Democrats in Disarray" idiocy that they love write about.


(15,802 posts)
11. Tellin' us something we all already know -- all too well.
Tue May 21, 2024, 11:39 AM
May 21

Fuck the corporate media. The local national affiliate evening news we tend to watch (not Fox) finally reported extensively on Cohen's testimony in the hush money trial last night; of course it was all about the defense -- Cohen admits he stole from the Trump organization, the Trump defense team scored big points today, etc., etc. In the moment, it almost makes me want to puke or, more accurately, blow up something. The hill we have to climb -- It's so frigging daunting sometimes!

displaced in ID

(9 posts)
13. MSNBC on Sunday
Tue May 21, 2024, 12:00 PM
May 21

I watched the speech on Sunday and the follow-up coverage. The extremely negative host subbing for Ali Velshi (Charles Coleman) could not say a positive thing about it. One guest, Molly Jong Fast, disagreed and said that it was generally positive. Then another guest (can't remember their name) came on and said MJF was totally wrong and Biden was awful and the audience hated the speech. This constant negative drumbeat is just exhausting. The unspoken rule seems to be to figure out how everything is bad for Biden. It's sunny where I am today......a bad omen for Biden no doubt.


(55,222 posts)
16. The article ended with some sage advice for all of us:
Tue May 21, 2024, 01:31 PM
May 21

"But the main takeaway from his comparative Morehouse triumph is that his administration invested resources in understanding a core constituency and treating it with respect.

"Let’s hope Biden and Harris are able to do that in many more Black communities before November."

I think they can and will.


(884 posts)
17. Exactly. I'm so fed up with the Republican-owed media.
Tue May 21, 2024, 01:43 PM
May 21

Biden steps on a bug and the media says: Does Joe Biden enjoy destroying our precious life??
Trump shits in his pants > "Our former President truly cares about not spoiling our wonderful environment! "

and the age thing>> Biden exercises, eats well. Trump plays "Opposite George" (Seinfeld)

hay rick

(7,881 posts)
19. My phone's newsfeed headlined people walking out on him.
Tue May 21, 2024, 02:20 PM
May 21

The article itself was short, bland and not terribly slanted. But the 99% of users who only saw the headline and scrolled by without reading the article absorbed a negative message.

Heather Cox Richardson recounted a large part of his speech- it was excellent.

American democracy is being betrayed by our media.


(10,952 posts)
21. But if I really say it, the mainstream press won't play it.
Tue May 21, 2024, 03:26 PM
May 21

You might learn something and report it.

Here are the texts of Joe Biden's speeches at the McCain Library and at Morehouse.
Smokin' stuff.
Despite the lack of violence in the audience that you crave.


Just a snip.

Just consider these as actual quotes from MAGA — the MAGA movement. Quote, “I am your retribution.” “Slitting throats” of civil servants, replacing them with extreme political cronies. MAGA extremists proclaim support for law enforcement only to say, “We…” — quote, “We must destroy the FBI.”

It’s not one person. It’s the controlling element of the House Republican Party.

Whitewash attacks of January 6th by calling the spearing and stomping of police a leg- — quote, a “legitimate political discourse.”

Did you ever think you’d hear leaders of political parties in the United States of America speak like that? Seizing power, concentrating power, attempting to abuse power, purging and packing key institutions, spewing conspiracy theories, spreading lies for profit and power to divide America in every way, inciting violence against those who risk their lives to keep America safe, weaponizing against the very soul of who we are as Americans.

This MAGA threat is the threat to the brick and mortar of our democratic institutions. But it’s also a threat to the character of our nation and gives our — that gives our Constitution life, that binds us together as Americans in common cause.

None of this is surprising, though. They’ve tried to govern that way before. And thank God, they failed.

But they haven’t given up. Just look at recent days: their accusations against — of treason — treason against the major new net- — news network because they don’t like its coverage. I don’t know what the hell I’d say about Fox if that becomes the rule. (Laughter.)

But think about it. I’m joking, but think about it.

Tomorrow, I have the honor of overseeing the change of responsibilities of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States military from one genuine hero and patriot, General Mark Milley, to another, General CQ Brown — both — both defining leaders of our time.

And yet, here is what you hear from MAGA extremists about the retiring patriot general honoring his oath to the Constitution: quote, he’s “a traitor,” end of quote. “In times gone by, the punishment…” — quote, “In times gone by, the punishment would’ve been death,” end of quote.

This is the United States of America. This is the United States of America.

And although I don’t believe even a majority of Republicans think that, the silence is deafening. The silence is deafening.


Just a snip:

What is democracy if Black men are being killed in the street?

What is democracy if a trail of broken promises still leave Black — Black communities behind?

What is democracy if you have to be 10 times better than anyone else to get a fair shot?

And most of all, what does it mean, as we’ve heard before, to be a Black man who loves his country even if it doesn’t love him back in equal measure? (Applause.)

When I sit behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, in front of the fireplace across from my — my desk, I have two busts: one of Dr. King and one of Bobby Kennedy. I often find myself looking at those busts and making decisions. I ask myself: Are we living up to what we say we are as a nation, to end racism and poverty, to deliver jobs and justice, to restore our leadership in the world?


Insurrectionists who storm the Capitol with Confederate flags are called “patriots” by some. Not in my house. (Applause.) Black police officers, Black veterans protecting the Capitol were called another word, as you’ll recall.

They also say out loud, these other groups, immigrants “poison the blood” of our country, like the Grand Wizard and fascists said in the past. But you know and I know we all bleed the same color. In America, we’re all created equal. (Applause.)

Extremists close the doors of opportunity; strike down affirmative action; attack the values of diversity, equality, and inclusion.

I never thought when I was graduating in 1968 — as your honoree just was — we talked about — I never thought I’d be in — present in a time when there’s a national effort to ban books — not to write history but to erase history.

They don’t see you in the future of America. But they’re wrong. To me, we make history, not erase it. We know Black history is American history. (Applause.)

Many of you graduates don’t know me, but check my record, you’ll know what I’m saying I mean from my gut.

And we know Black men are going to help us, lead us to the future — Black men from this class, in this university. (Applause.)

But, graduates, this is what we’re up against: extremist forces aligned against the meaning and message of Morehouse. And they peddle a fiction, a caricature what being a man is about — tough talk, abusing power, bigotry. Their idea of being a man is toxic. I ran into them all the time when I was younger. They got — all right, I don’t want to get started. (Laughter.)

But that’s not you. It’s not us. You all know and demonstrate what it really means to be a man. Being a man is about the strength of respect and dignity. It’s about showing up because it’s too late if you have to ask. It’s about giving hate no safe harbor and leaving no one behind and defending freedoms. It’s about standing up to the abuse of power, whether physical, economic, or psychological. It’s about knowing faith without works is dead. (Applause.)

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(23,632 posts)
22. Umm, I heard all about it in the Washington Post. They published a long article about it.
Tue May 21, 2024, 03:41 PM
May 21

"Before Biden spoke at Morehouse, the biggest question was whether his words would be interrupted by protests, like the ones that have sprung up on college campuses across the country. But instead of a loud rebuke, Biden was met with polite, if measured, applause by the more than 400 graduating seniors and their families, and no major demonstrations."

"A handful of students and faculty members at the ceremony turned their backs on Biden as he gave the keynote speech, a silent protest of the president’s support of Israel’s war in Gaza. As many as six students could be seen seated with their backs to Biden at one point, one with a fist raised in the air. At least one faculty member appeared to be doing the same thing.

Biden recognized the protests and said he respected them. “Let me be clear: I support peaceful, nonviolent protest. Your voices should be heard, and I promise I hear them,” he said.

Gift article:


(29,695 posts)
24. A friend from high school was there.
Tue May 21, 2024, 04:52 PM
May 21

Her son was one of the new graduates.

If something had really happened she would have posted about it.


(37,032 posts)
25. At least The Nation followers read about it. I posted Biden's whole speech on Facebook on a "public" setting.
Tue May 21, 2024, 07:51 PM
May 21
Online platforms matter.
We should be spreading videos of Pres. Biden's speeches on them as much as possible.

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