On Monday, President Joe Biden gave remarks in the East Room of the White House regarding inflation and drug prices before heading into a meeting with cabinet members.
Toward the end of these remarks, White House correspondent for the conservative Fox News network—Peter Doocy—asked Biden if higher inflation was a liability going into the 2022 midterms. Biden's response was at odds with the return to civility on which he campaigned.
Of course, no politician goes into an election cycle bragging about inflation. Biden sarcastically said that inflation was a "great asset" before saying under his breath of Doocy:
"What a stupid son of a b***h."
But the microphone was still on and Biden's comments were heard clear as a bell. According to Kaitlan Collins of CNN, Biden personally called Doocy to apologize for the remark.
The apology didn't keep some on the right from slamming Biden for the comments, including Republican Congressman Jim Banks of Indiana.
Banks asked if we had seen a President "attack and malign the free press like Joe Biden has???"
It's a laughable question considering Banks' strong support for former President Donald Trump, whose demonization of the free press was a defining aspect of his time in the White House.
Trump repeatedly referred to the press as the "enemy of the people," and went more than a year without a single White House press briefing. He regularly berated journalists on Twitter and in the public sphere, accusing MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski of "bleeding badly from a facelift" and Fox's Megyn Kelly of having "blood coming out of her wherever."
When CNN's Jim Acosta persisted in asking Trump about his reference to immigration as an "invasion," Trump's administration revoked his White House credentials, only backing down after CNN sued. After hearing Biden apologized to Doocy, Acosta noted that members of the press "never got an apology" from Trump.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) concluded in an extensive report that the Trump Administration was a threat to the freedom of the press, finding:
"The Trump administration has stepped up prosecutions of news sources, interfered in the business of media owners, harassed journalists crossing U.S. borders, and empowered foreign leaders to restrict their own media. But Trump’s most effective ploy has been to destroy the credibility of the press, dangerously undermining truth and consensus even as the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to kill tens of thousands of Americans"
Trump repeatedly lashed out at journalists during the COVID-19 pandemic as well.
Given the record of Biden's immediate predecessor, people couldn't tell whether or not Banks was being serious or trolling.
Banks may have forgotten Trump's frequent "enemy of the people" comments, but social media users hadn't.