Stella: Biden was right to call Peter Doocy “a stupid son of a bitch”

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(Graphic Illustration by Falyn Sebastian | The Collegian)

Michael Stella, Collegian Columnist

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

When President Joe Biden called Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy “a stupid son of a bitch,” he put into words how many Americans feel about the outspoken Doocy and mainstream media in general.

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The remark from the president came at the end of an event hosted at the White House Jan. 24, during which the president was meant to inform Americans about the steps the White House Competition Council is taking to combat inflation — an economic issue wherein the purchasing power of currency decreases over time, making goods more expensive for consumers.

When the press asked questions, few — if any — were actually about the council’s efforts to fight inflation. Instead, they were about the military buildup along the border of Ukraine and Russia. 

This is when Doocy asked if inflation was a political liability for the president in upcoming elections. Though President Biden complained that none of the press questions were on topic, Doocy’s question regarding inflation being a political liability was a waste of time, and Doocy missed an opportunity for productive news coverage about a really important issue. 

Peter Doocy is infamous for asking frivolous questions to Biden, Press Secretary Jen Psaki and other politicians. In 2017, Doocy asked Sen. John McCain, regarding his relationship with former President Donald Trump, “Has your relationship with the president frayed to the point that you are not going to support anything that he comes to you and asks you?” The senator fittingly responded, “Why would you say something that stupid? Why would you ask something that dumb?” 

Inflation is a serious issue, and it is at its highest point since 1982. With rising food and gas prices, for example, Biden — while it may not be directly attributable to him — is under a lot of pressure to find ways to alleviate inflation, even though the president has limited power to do so. 

This is likely why Doocy’s question about inflation being a liability in the upcoming midterms prompted the response it did from Biden — and probably from most people watching at home. 

Any time the president of the United States calls a reporter “a stupid son of a bitch,” it is going to dominate the news cycle, and it probably would have been incumbent of Biden to have responded with a more appropriate word choice.

Ask the average American while they are at the grocery store if inflation is a political liability, and they will probably give you a pretty good answer. Doocy’s liability question was a silly waste of time that did not produce any meaningful dialogue about Biden’s attempts to lower inflation. 

Did any viewers of Gutfeld! or The Five learn anything about the White House Competition Council’s attempts to help combat inflation during the shows?

There’s a problem with this. News TV, not just on Fox but also on CNN and MSNBC, has devolved into political gossip that rarely evaluates real issues — like inflation — that affect real people. Instead, they spend hours dissecting trivial things such as the president’s word choice. 

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One criticism that has been leveled against the Biden administration is that Biden does not always take questions from the press, and when he does, the journalists he selects to ask questions are prescreened by his communications teams. Peter Doocy wasted a chance to ask the president something meaningful, and as a result, he got a fitting response. 

Reach Michael Stella at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @Michaelstella_.