Yesterday, Joe Biden turned 81 and it was yet another occasion for the media to fixate on his age. Ir has become a staple of the news to say that voters are concerned about his age. Why is that news? If any pollster asked me if I was concerned about his age, of course I would say yes. But that does not mean I think he is unable to be president. It becomes news only if there are signs that his age is affecting his ability to serve as president. And as far as I can see, he seems to be able to do so. I may not agree with some of the things he does – I am furious about his support of Israeli atrocities in Gaza – but there is no sign that he does not know what he is doing.
And yet, serial sex abuser Donald Trump (SSAT) is 78, just three years younger than Biden, who says the most outlandish things and showing signs of cognitive decline and yet there is hardly any focus on that.
Another trope that the media is fixated on is Biden’s unpopularity. Kevin Drum is fed up with this and keeps showing a graph that shows that Biden’s approval ratings are the same as those of Barack Obama and SSAT at the same time during their presidencies.
But that is the media for you. Once they have decided on a storyline (“Biden is old!” “Biden is unpopular!”), they find it hard to let the facts and context change the narrative.