One by one, Biden’s closest media allies are going bankrupt after the debate

Joe Scarborough pursed his lips and straightened his tie. It was 6 a.m. Friday, seven and a half hours after a weakened President Biden gingerly stepped off the debate stage, and the host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” was about to deliver a painful message to viewers of television’s most reliable redoubt. Biden support.

“I love Joe Biden,” Mr. Scarborough began as the cameras turned on in his home studio in Maine. “I think his presidency has been an unqualified success.”


“He spent much of the night with his mouth open and his eyes darting back and forth,” the anchor said. “He couldn’t control anything Donald Trump said. He missed layup after layup.” Now, he concluded, “this is the last chance for Democrats to decide whether this man we’ve known and loved for a long time is up to the task of running for president of the United States.”

This was not merely an act of expertise. Mr. Biden is a skeptic of the news media, but Mr. Scarborough is among a small group of commentators who actually listen to him. The president spent time with the anchor and watches ‘Morning Joe’ regularly, a show that has defended him against all kinds of attacks.

No more. And Mr. Scarborough was not alone. His defection echoed those of other longtime Biden media allies who, often in elegiac and pained tones, urged the president on Friday to resign after his shaky performance in Thursday’s debate against former President Donald J. Trump..

Thomas L. Friedman, a New York Times columnist and frequent visitor to Biden’s White House, wrote that he cried when he saw the president. “Joe Biden, a good man and a good president, has no business being re-elected,” he said. Evan Osnos, Biden’s biographer and one of the few journalists granted extended access to the president, said on CNN that the president seemed “diminished.”

And on CNN, Democratic analyst Van Jones delivered an emotional monologue, full of emotion, defiance and regret.

“I just want to speak from the heart,” Mr Jones said minutes after the debate ended. ‘He’s a good man. He loves his country. He’s trying his best. But he had to meet tonight to restore the confidence of the country and the grassroots, and he failed to do that.” Mr. Jones paused for a moment. “There is time for this party to find another path forward.”

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