33 Comments
Mar 5Liked by Parker Molloy

I don't think I'm asking for so much when I ask people harping on this "Biden is old!" stuff to name ONE negative consequence that has befallen the United States of America specifically because Biden is old. Yes, Biden does things I disagree with, even things that infuriate me (like his support of Netanyahu and the massacre in Gaza, seemingly down to the last Palestinian) but does he do these things because he's old? Of course not, he does these things because he's WRONG (just ask me!) and Presidents being wrong about stuff is a totally normal non-age-related condition.

Expand full comment

Although, let's be fair, this is kind of like asking these people how immigrants have hurt them, or how trans people have hurt them. They just KNOW, don't bother asking how.

Expand full comment
Mar 5Liked by Parker Molloy

T H I S. I’ve been waiting for this post for six months, when I swear, some Russian bot pointed out what we knew: Biden’s age (again 3 years older than Trump) and the media FREAKED OUT about this brand new information and has become an echo chamber for Trump and Putin. Ever since whatever Trump tweets is a headline, so much news has been aggravating, not “investigative.” I really appreciate how you’ve pointed out the difference between what can be helped (specific choices) and what is out of his/our control (years passing). One thing in Biden’s control is whom he surrounds himself with. One thing in Trump’s control is the color of pancake makeup he wears.

One thing in our control is whom we vote for; would be helpful to be informed about those consequences short term and long term (and why aren’t we envisioning a Harris presidency? And discussing who would become president if Trump won and passed on in office? ACTUAL SCENARIOS and their import). I’m rambling, too many thoughts, I’m just so excited you addressed this issue and how it’s being treated. It’s influencing who we vote for this election year and it feels like we’re missing the point.

Expand full comment

80 million people voted for Biden in 2020, and now we're shocked (SHOCKED, I tell you!) to find that he's four years older than he was four years ago, that 77+4=81. I know Americans often score at the bottom on international rankings of math skills, but this is a new low.

Expand full comment

🤣 Why are we perpetually surprised that we get what we asked for??

Expand full comment
Mar 5Liked by Parker Molloy

I don’t know whether “lying” is the right word, but yes—if you say you’re “just following the facts” or “just reporting the facts,” you are privileging some sources, facts and narratives over others, and you’re not examining yourself at all.

Expand full comment

To me, the "Biden is old" narrative would make sense if he were going to be running against Nikki Haley. But he's not! He's going to most likely be running against another old mad whom every day shows much, much more significant signs of being in cognitive decline than Joe Biden. It's absurd to pretend like Biden's age is a problem but Trump's is not. It's just another example of the same "these are both flawed candidates" duality much of the media has pushed since 2016; as if Hillary Clinton's flaws and Donald Trump's flaws were equal. Time and time and time again, we see this pathological need for evenness be exploited by the GOP, because so much of the media can't just call a spade a spade lest it appear partisan.

Expand full comment

As you know Parker, some of it is the desperation of many in our media industry. They're looking for *anything* they can use like #ButHerEmails - a pointless story they can ride until the metaphorical horse is Elmer's glue.

And like financial reporters who constantly scream about recessions, even when we're nowhere near one, they keep claiming, "Well, *some* people FEEL poor," or similar garbage - because they know that EVENTUALLY, there will be a recession, and then they can scream and say "AH HA!!! SEE?!! I WAS RIGHT!!!"

Which is stupid, but given the lack of intelligence among some we share this industry with, is exactly their jam.

Some of it is also the similar desperation of those in the news media for false balance. Because while Biden hasn't done everything many in the center and especially further on the Left want - and many of those policy preferences simply haven't been possible with Manchinema and the Insane Clown Posse of MAGAts in Congress - his list of accomplishments is long and amazing.

And the core fact is, many in our industry are terrified to come out and say that yes - effective governing is also, often, boring governing - which means there's no real need for their jobs.

Which gets us back to where I started.

Biden is an extremely effective governing executive, who doesn't generally go in for day-to-day or moment-to-moment performative bullsh** that makes for great TV & internet clips. And that pisses off and terrifies MANY in our news media industry.

In short, they hate him for being boring.

How dare he not dance for them! Doesn't he know they have airtime and copy space to fill?

Expand full comment

“In short, they hate him for being boring.

How dare he not dance for them! Doesn't he know they have airtime and copy space to fill?”

In the immortal words of my mom, if they’re bored I can find plenty of things for them to do.

Expand full comment

Oh, yeah. No disagreement. And your mom was right.

As I'm in the industry, have been for about 30 years, I will often contact others in our industry and tell 'em things like what your mom said, directly.

Yet another reason I'm sometimes referred to as "The Hall Monitor" or "The A**hole."

I'm no fun, they say. Yeah, 'cause I give a damn about integrity, and realize that if we don't produce "content" that justifies the existence of the news media, the American public right now is more than willing to sh**can every single one of us in this industry.

Again, your mom was correct. And Parker & I and some others in our industry know this. Yet, we're not the ones who hold the power.

Expand full comment

At my last newsroom job, trying to get them to use the word “lie” about Trump was like trying to carry a piano up the stairs by myself.

Expand full comment

I can empathize. Been there. Almost blackballed from media from waving the (Russian) red flag about Trump in 2016.

Expand full comment

So the 78 year old rapist is also old, and as you note Parker, has more consequences of being elderly in his speech than Biden does. The media doesn’t highlight these facts because they think a second term would be better for their business. That’s a laugh.

Expand full comment

Trump is saved by the fact that, if you've ALWAYS been a fucking lunatic your whole life, then nobody can attribute your latest lunacy to aging.

Expand full comment

I remember thinking in 2008, "This Biden guy. He's going to be awfully old when it comes time to succeed Obama." But he's done a lot better than I thought he would, and his experience has been an invaluable asset.

Expand full comment

This "Looking into the future while also doing basic arithmetic" is not a skill most Americans excel at.

Expand full comment

We could have avoided this whole problem if we'd just picked Pete Buttigieg, but I'm not sure President Buttigieg would have been as successful getting trillion-dollar legislation through such an evenly divided Senate, a case where Biden's experience (and age!) helped.

Expand full comment
founding

Agreed. I’m less concerned with any supposed decline of Biden’s health and more concerned about the decline of democracy in our country. Is our country healthy? Will it make it another 4 years? These are the questions that keep me up at night.

Biden’s age does not concern me, it’s meaningless without some newsworthy health concern

Expand full comment

Just as there is a pretty big difference between a 12 year old and a 16 year old... there's also a fairly big difference between a 77 year old and an 81 year old. It all has to do with the mind and the growth/decay of it. Not being able to remember certain things (like the year your son died) is concerning. What if he can't remember something that actually matters related to national security?

Expand full comment

Do you carry around in your head all the information you need to do your job, or have humans invented some other means of retaining information?

I'm sure if he forgets Emmanuel Macron's phone number, there's someone on staff to remind him.

Expand full comment

I assume he'd use the Notes app on his phone like the rest of us, except I doubt he can remember his passcode. Hrmmmm. Guess we'll see what happens in November! Best of luck to your candidate...

Expand full comment
founding

There’s a pretty big difference between age 1 and age 5. Not much of a difference between age 41 and 45. By the time we get to talking about a 77 year old and an 81 year old there are too many variables from their long lives and that’s how you’ve got a 77 year old with dementia running against someone who is still sharp and knows how to speak a complete sentence with actual words

Expand full comment

True, plus Trump would be dangerous even without dementia - maybe even MORE dangerous without dementia - because HE'S AN AWFUL PERSON WHO HAS REALLY TERRIBLE IDEAS. If, God forbid, he actually got elected, we may end up rooting for the dementia.

Expand full comment

"What if he can't remember something that actually matters related to national security?"

Remember that press conference where he said "President of Mexico" instead of "President of Egypt"? And then, based just on that, Mexico claimed ownership of the Suez canal, and then a million people died in the Mexico-Egypt war? Oh, the humanity!

Expand full comment

Biden: Launch the Nukes.

Stevia: Whats the target, Mr. President?

Biden: Mexico City.

Stefán: Don't you mean Azrafaa City?

Biden: That's what I meant.

Steevy: Glad I was here to help prevent WW3, sir. Have you considered using the Notes app on your phone to remember things in case I'm not around next time you try to end the world?

Expand full comment

And totally realistic scenario you came up with there, buddy. I think we can all see how serious your concerns are.

Expand full comment
Mar 8·edited Mar 8

You've been working on that for THREE DAYS? Was it all the HI-LARIOUS variations on my name that kept you up nights, No-nothing?

Expand full comment

Sorry to disappoint, but I only log in once every few days. I spend most of my time hiking outdoor or grabbing drinks with friends. See you next week, Steven.

Expand full comment

So, dementia inevitably sets in, when? at 78? Because Trump would still be in office then.

Expand full comment

Dementia is not an inevitable part of aging. It is caused by various diseases and conditions, with Alzheimer's disease being the most common cause. The risk of developing dementia increases with age, but it's not a certainty for everyone. Some people live their entire lives without developing dementia. Factors that can influence the risk of developing dementia include genetics, lifestyle, and overall health.

Expand full comment

I'll mark my calendar to check for a response early next week.

Expand full comment

What did you think of the speech he gave last night? Look to you like someone suffering from dementia?

Expand full comment

What speech are you referring to?

Expand full comment