CNN White House correspondent April Ryan is laying down the law about how Joe Biden should be covered after leaked audio suggested the nominal president-elect isn’t on board with the agenda that helped him win progressive votes.
Ryan suggested that someone must have had a nefarious reason to leak a recording of Biden’s teleconference earlier this week with civil rights leaders, in which he complained that the “defund the police” movement had hurt Democrats with voters and warned that he wouldn’t use executive orders to enact a slew of progressive policies.
“The question is, who taped this and why?” Ryan asked. “What is the agenda?” When Vice Media writer Edward Ongweso Jr. then jokingly tweeted on Friday that that it’s “irresponsible” and a “dangerous precedent” for journalists to use secret recordings in their stories about the incoming administration and must instead go through “proper channels” to parse Biden’s thoughts and plans, Ryan agreed, saying, “You hit the nail on the head. This is not good at all.”
Ryan “liked” Ongweso’s comment when he added that “revealing a contradiction between his private thoughts and public statements is dangerous because it erodes public trust in the president, the office and the media itself.” She also liked Ongweso’s assertion that White House spokespeople, senior administration officials and Biden’s public statements are the “designated and responsible sources for information about the president’s thoughts and intentions.”
Observers were gobsmacked by Ryan’s protective take on managing the Biden message, especially after four years of watching the mainstream media try to shred President Donald Trump with administration leaks, illegally distributed tax documents, anonymous sources and a discredited Steele dossier funded by Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.
“This is one of the most shocking things I’ve seen on this website,” independent journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted.
Another independent journalist, Eoin Higgins, asked Ryan, “Would you consider yourself a reporter at this point, or is that more of a former job description?” Writer Jack Allison had a similar take, saying, “I’d like to gently suggest that that’s not journalism. That’s copy and pasting press releases.”
Would you consider yourself a reporter at this point or is that more of a former job description
— Eoin Higgins (@EoinHiggins_) December 11, 2020
id like to gently suggest that that’s not journalism, that’s copy and pasting press releases
— jack the grinch (@jackallisonLOL) December 11, 2020
Other commenters pointed out that Ryan herself touted stories about secret recordings from Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, and tapes of First Lady Melania Trump “talking bad” about Trump and his children. She speculated in July 2018 that the White House was retaliating against CNN for airing the Cohen recordings and suggested that Trump was thereby violating his constitutional duty to respect freedom of the press.
This week’s leaked Biden audio may have struck a nerve with Ryan because after defeating progressive rival Bernie Sanders in the primaries, the Democrat nominee forged a fragile alliance with left-wing voters to help win the November 3 election. Trump is still challenging Biden’s victory, alleging massive fraud.
Republicans painted Democrat candidates as favoring defunding of police departments, which is “how they beat the living hell out of us across the country,” Biden said in the teleconference, a tape of which was obtained by the Intercept. Republicans added at least 11 House seats in the election.
Biden also said he wouldn’t stretch constitutional limits of his authority to implement policies demanded by progressives. “Executive authority that my progressive friends talk about is way beyond the bounds,” he said.
Also on rt.com After courting Black Lives Matter & progressives, Biden blasts ‘defund the police’ as vote killer
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