Newshounds and ink-stained wretches have been saying it privately for years, but Joe Biden just came out with it in an interview with ProPublica: “There are no editors anymore.”
That old journalism chestnut was part of Biden’s response to a question from John Harwood about “Fox News and other outlets that spread falsehoods about the 2020 election drive the threat” to democracy. ProPublica largely framed its sit-down, published Sunday, around the concept that the 2024 election is “bigger than political disagreement” (Biden’s words), and that the U.S. system of government itself hangs in the balance in just over a year.
Harwood asked Biden from many angles whether a second Trump term would spell the end of the American experiment, and Biden did not equivocate: “The things he says he will do are a threat to American democracy. … if [democracy] fails here, Katie bar the door!”
Biden was asked whether 2020 election falsehoods on Fox News and elsewhere – which so far cost the network $787 million in a settlement with Dominion Voting Systems – were a part of that threat.
“Look, there are no editors anymore,” he said. “That’s one of the big problems. There’s nobody telling – and I gave my word, I’d never reveal them – but I’ve spoken to at least a half-dozen serious reporters over the last six, eight years, who say to me, ‘I’m worried. If I do not say and do something that raises the issue up, I’m not going to get a hit. And if I don’t get a hit on television, I don’t, I don’t, my pay, my,’ … The whole dynamic has changed, I’m no expert in the press, but it’s changed.”
Harlow asked if Elon Musk’s “lower guardrails” on platform X were also contributing to the clouds of doom encroaching on our representative republic.
“Yeah, it does,” Biden replied. “Look. One of the things that I said when I said I wasn’t gonna run, I was gonna write a book about the changes taking place. And most of us directed over the years, these fundamental changes in society, by changing technology. Gutenberg and the printing press changed the way Europeans talk to each other – all the way to today. Where do people get their news? They go on the internet, they go online, and you have no notion whether it’s true or not.”
Watch the entire video above.