Civics: “and what the ‘arbiters’ of truth allow us to say.”

Joe Nocera:

And how did the hosts and guests on Morning Joe react to this well-reported story with its wealth of telling details? With venom. Instead of acknowledging that it might have some validity, they derided the article. “This does have the feeling of Trump acolytes laundering their attacks through a reputable, prestigious news organization,” said co-host Willie Geist. 

“This was a classic, classic hit piece, probably ordered up by the 93-year-old, fifth-time married Rupert Murdoch over the weekend,” added Morning Joe regular Mike Barnicle.

In fact, it was anything but a hit piece. Rather, it was the product of journalism’s essential function: finding out the truth, and then bringing that truth to the public. Indeed, according to the Journal, Biden’s problems—problems most elderly people face sooner or later—were not some kind of new phenomenon. One of the meetings the Journal recounted took place 14 months ago, in May 2023.