Media notes Biden’s age after he trips and falls at Air Force Academy commencement

, Don Irvine, Leave a comment

President Joe Biden recently tripped and fell while at the commencement ceremony for the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The mainstream media reported on the incident and it was surprising to see the media’s relatively-balanced coverage.

ABC News ran with the headline, “Biden falls at US Air Force Academy graduation ceremony: ‘I got sandbagged!'” In the article, ABC News said that Biden tripped on a sandbag that anchored a teleprompter, but “quickly” got back up with the help of Secret Service agents and an Air Force officer. Noting age concerns surrounding Biden, ABC News reported, “Biden’s age and fitness have been a factor in his reelection campaign. He is the oldest sitting president in history and would be 86 at the end of second term should he win again in 2024.”

Then, CBS News’s brief coverage of the fall said, after Biden tripped and fell, “On his way into the White House after flying back to Washington, the president ignored reporters’ questions except to joke, referring to his fall that “I got sandbagged!””

CNN’s article ran with the headline, “White House says Biden is fine after tripping on sandbag and falling on stage at Air Force Academy commencement” and the article noted concerns about Biden’s age, “Biden is 80 years old, the nation’s oldest president, and is running for a second term. He’s had previous stumbles in public, including falling to the ground during a bike ride last year in Delaware. He’s also been seen slipping on the stairs as he boards Air Force One.” The cable news network added a statement friendly to Biden, which read, “Despite those incidents, Biden’s doctor has said is physically fit to serve in office. In recent physicals, Biden’s doctor has examined the president’s stiff gait, determining it was a result of “wear and tear” changes on Biden’s spine.”

The Hill wrote, after describing Biden’s fall, “At 80, Biden is the oldest individual ever to serve as president, and his age and fitness for office is likely to be a key factor as he runs for reelection in 2024.”

Here are a couple of observations about the mainstream media’s coverage of the trip and fall of Biden:

  • ABC News was somewhat fair in its coverage and was honest to note that Biden needed help to get back up on his feet
  • It is interesting that CBS News included veiled criticism of the president’s treatment of reporters and his lack of responding to their questions, which could indicate the media’s shadow campaign to replace Biden at a future point
  • CNN appeared to be more fair in its coverage, but it did include information from Biden’s camp
  • The Hill acknowledged concerns about Biden’s vigor and provided Biden’s rebuttal to these concerns
  • All media outlets mentioned the age concerns surrounding Biden’s campaign for a second term as president, which is a complete about-face from their 2020 presidential campaign coverage
  • Overall, the media’s coverage of Biden’s fall cannot compare with their hysterical reaction to former President Donald Trump’s non-fall event in 2020 at West Point