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Pelosi Calls Out the New York Times for Making Up News


Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi called out the New York Times for misrepresenting what she said about President Biden, “I don’t know what’s happened in New York Times that they make up news. But if that’s why you’re here, it isn’t true.”

“Speaker Pelosi, arriving at her office, tells CBS News’ Jaala Brown her comments to Morning Joe are being misrepresented,” CBS’ Ellis Kim shared over this quote:

The New York Times ran this headline announcing that Pelosi had suggested Biden should “reconsider” decision to stay in the race, and that she is the “most senior member of his party so far to suggest his status at the top of the ticket is uncertain”:

The California Democrat also gave that statement to the New York Times, which is now in their article.

So, let’s check this out. On MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Pelosi was asked specifically about what she would say to Congressional Democrats about their concerns about Biden. (I’m sharing a lot of context here, because it matters.)

MIKA: The headlines, the polling, it all feels very dark. How do you think the President is doing in light of his poor debate performance? Can he do more? And what do you say to Democrats in Congress and even members of the Senate, who are beginning to waver in their support?

PELOSI: “Good morning. That’s one version of the story. What I do want to say is that yesterday I was honored to be present at the President’s speech for NATO. He was absolutely spectacular. He was received over and over again with ovations for what he had to say and the force with which he said it.… So it was a beautifully received, energetic presentation by the President.

Politics is politics. People have their interest in terms of their own region and the rest, and so we are the Democratic Party, a party that is, shall we say, not lock step. But this president has been a great president, and I can tell you firsthand as a person who orchestrated many of the pieces of legislation that the President takes great pride in, and he should, because he was there at the table, chapter and verse, very conversant with a vision, a purpose, with the knowledge of the issues, with values underlining it all, and again, always asking the question, what does this mean to working families in our country?

So any thought that he wasn’t able to deliver on all of those is, I can just say just didn’t happen.”

Then she was asked, “Does he have your support to be the head of Democrats?”

PELOSI: “It’s up to the president to decide if he is going to run. We’re all encouraging him to to make that decision, because time is running short. The, I think, overwhelming support of the of the caucus — It’s not for me to say I’m not the head of the caucus anymore — but he’s beloved. He is respected, and people want him to make that decision.”

She was asked, “He has made, he has said he has made the decision. He has said firmly, this week, he is going to run. Do you want him to run?”

PELOSI: “I want him to do whatever he decides to do. And that’s that’s the way it is, whatever he decides we go with. I think it’s really important. And I would hope everyone would join in to let him deal with this NATO conference. This is a very big deal. 30 heads of over 30 heads of state are here. He is the host of it. And that means not just hosting it. Means orchestrating the discussion and setting the agenda. And he’s doing so magnificently. And I said, ‘Everyone, let’s, let’s just hold off whatever you’re thinking either tell somebody privately, but you don’t have to put that out on the table until we see how we go this week.’ But I’m very proud of the President.”

Could she have given a better, more forceful endorsement? Yes. The President already said he is staying in the race, so it’s unclear why she is suggesting he hasn’t made the decision yet.

I were to call this one as someone who has interviewed the former Speaker several times, I’d take into account Pelosi’s careful way with words to suggest there is something going on behind the scenes, maybe a Congressional contingency who need to be appeased by feeling they have a say in things. She mentions people having their “regions” to take into account, for example, and that they are not in lockstep.

Pelosi is urging people to stop speaking out publicly and to wait until after NATO to see if they still have these concerns. The diplomat who managed throughout her historically successful Speakership to bring all of the different concerns of a diverse caucus together over and over again won’t override these people’s concerns in public, but she is forcefully reminding people of Biden’s strength at NATO and his legislative successes, which she was a huge part of making happen.

One thing that is nowhere in her comments is urging Biden to “reconsider” decision to stay in the race. That’s simply not in her comments. Not anywhere. And listening to the entire piece, that’s not what I take away from it.

The Times article itself makes an effort to be more fair, even while making the case that they suspect Pelosi doesn’t support Biden anymore, but it’s the headline that does the most negative spin work for the paper — and journalists often don’t control their headlines.

Is it fair that Pelosi called out the New York Times for making up news? Democrats are side-eyeing their previous attachment to the Grey Lady after the way the paper spun a literal conspiracy out of a doctor’s visits to the White House, without even checking the schedule to determine if President Biden was there, coupled with their front page being littered with concern trolling about Biden while lacking any kind of equitable coverage of his opponent Donald Trump or Trump allies’ agenda to destroy U.S. democracy as we know it. Instead of retracting their conspiracy when it was set straight by facts, they ran it in the print edition.

Do Americans want Wordle more than they want democracy? Perhaps, as the New York Times made more than a billion dollars in digital subscriptions last year.

The bottom line here is yes, the title is inaccurate. Nowhere did Pelosi suggest that Biden “reconsider” his decision.

Taken together with the Times’ clear bias on display for everyone to see, it’s fair to call out, while acknowledging that the reporter herself was more balanced in her actual piece than whoever wrote the headline.

As for the Speaker Emerita’s strongly worded support for the President’s candidacy, wait until after the NATO summit. One thing you should always remember about Nancy Pelosi is she is a master negotiator. In the meantime, check out the report on how the media has turned Biden’s debate into a whole narrative that isn’t actually supported.

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