A Whiplash Week on the Biden Media Seesaw

From CJR’s The Media Today by Jon Allsop:

A YEAR AGO NEXT WEEK, Kabul fell to the Taliban, presaging an accelerated US withdrawal from Afghanistan that—among its countless more important consequences for that country and its people—brought a wave of overheated media opprobrium crashing down around President Biden. Last month, Perry Bacon, Jr., a columnist at the Washington Post, made the case that the withdrawal marked a turning point in mainstream coverage of Biden’s presidency and that that coverage in turn has helped drive down Biden’s popularity, with the political press turning Afghanistan into the basis for a “Biden is struggling” narrative that subsequently fattened itself on other meat—Democratic losses in off-year elections, inflation, the stalling of Biden’s “Build Back Better” spending agenda—even if Biden wasn’t necessarily to blame. Afghanistan “provided journalists the big anti-Biden story that I think many of them were desperate to find,” Bacon wrote—as well as an outlet to start channeling their impulse that coverage of “both sides” should be equally negative even as top Republicans continue to hold a lit match to American democracy.