preloader icon

Apex Trader Funding (ATF) - News

Right-wing media figures are desperately pushing conspiracy theories about Biden ahead of the debate

Editor’s Note: Sign up for the daily digest chronicling the evolving media landscape here. CNN  —  Donald Trump’s allies in right-wing media have a problem ahead of CNN’s presidential debate: They’ve set the bar too low for President Joe Biden. For years, and particularly over the last few months, MAGA Media has portrayed Biden as a senile, mentally incapacitated elderly man who cannot remember what he had for breakfast, let alone run the federal government. That might sound like an exaggeration to those who don’t tune in to Fox News or listen to talk radio, but it has been a real and constant theme in the right-wing media universe. To support the narrative, these outlets and personalities have seized on Biden’s verbal gaffes (while ignoring Trump’s) and presented out-of-context video clips to their large audiences — a deceptive, but effective strategy that the Biden campaign has struggled to meaningfully rebut. Enter Thursday’s high-stakes political showdown. The debate, which will be one of the most-watched moments of the 2024 presidential campaign cycle, will allow audiences from coast-to-coast the opportunity to watch an unfiltered Biden go head-to-head with Trump for some 90 minutes. While the two will undoubtedly tangle over a host of issues, the stage also will afford Biden a unique opportunity to puncture the narrative he lacks the mental fitness to be commander-in-chief. That’s a worry for right-wing media figures, which risk seeing their bogus narrative about Biden being ripped up in real time. As right-wing personality Megyn Kelly even put it Monday, Biden will come out great if he manages to simply “not die” during the face-off with Trump. “The stakes could not be lower for a Joe Biden performance,” Kelly observed. To account for the looming reality in which Biden has no trouble walking on stage without the help of a handler (some in right-wing media had suggested Biden required former President Barack Obama’s help to complete such a task), Trump’s media allies are already searching for excuses. And they’re getting noticeably desperate. One such claim boosted by Trump’s media allies is the conspiracy theory — which lacks any evidence — that the president will be on performance-enhancing supplements or drugs during the debate. That narrative, which was also floated after Biden’s forceful State of the Union speech earlier this year, has been promoted by none other than Trump himself. “He’s sleeping now, because they want to get him good and strong,” Trump said at a campaign rally over the weekend. “So a little before debate time, he gets a shot in the ass.” That narrative has been, predictably, amplified by Trump’s media supporters, who all overlooked the fact that Trump repeatedly fell asleep mid-day at his own trial earlier this year in court. Fox News host Jesse Watters, for instance, played into it on Monday’s episode of “The Five,” claiming Biden “is going to be taking shots at the jungle juice” ahead of the debate so that he can appear energetic. MAGA Media has also settled around a scapegoat to protect Trump if he should perform poorly: CNN. The dishonest pro-Trump forces, particularly the overt propagandist Sean Hannity, have leveled a barrage of attacks aimed at Jake Tapper, who will be co-moderating the debate alongside Dana Bash. Tapper, the hard-hitting anchor and CNN’s chief Washington correspondent, has been portrayed as a Democratic hack. While it is an absurd accusation, it is one MAGA Media is gleefully pushing, even attempting to do so on CNN’s own air. On Monday morning, CNN anchor Kasie Hunt abruptly ended an interview with Trump spokesperson Karoline Leavitt, who repeatedly assailed Tapper and Bash as “biased” news anchors. After booting Leavitt from her program, Hunt noted that “if you’re attacking the moderators, you’re usually losing.” Hunt is, of course, spot on. The hang-up, however, for MAGA Media is that they’ve forced themselves into a corner. Now, they’re trying to find a way to break free — and they’re getting desperate.