During the 2020 presidential campaign, Joe Biden promised to bring “unity” and “respect” back to the presidency. He painted himself as a polar opposite to former President Donald Trump, who frequently criticized his opponents.
On his Inauguration Day, the new president told his appointees he would fire them if they failed to embrace the value of respect.
“I want to thank your families for their sacrifices, but I’m not joking when I say this: If you’re ever working with me and I hear you treat another colleague with disrespect, talk down to someone, I promise you I will fire you on the spot,” Biden said.
“On the spot. No if, ands or buts. Everybody, everybody is entitled to be treated with decency and dignity. That’s been missing in a big way the last four years.”
If Biden is true to his word, White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates ought to be shown the door immediately.
On Thursday, Bates shared a HuffPost article alleging Trump had “praised Moscow” after Vladimir Putin led Russia to invade Ukraine.
“Two nauseating, fearful pigs who hate what America stands for and whose every action is driven by their … own weakness and insecurity, rubbing their snouts together and celebrating as innocent people lose their lives,” he wrote on Twitter.
Two nauseating, fearful pigs who hate what America stands for and whose every action is driven by their their own weakness and insecurity, rubbing their snouts together and celebrating as innocent people lose their lives. https://t.co/GrZcOzXJ8g
— Andrew Bates (@AndrewJBates46) February 24, 2022
I’m not sure what kind of values Bates was raised with as a child, but most people would not define calling someone a “nauseating pig” as respectful.
In addition, the article Bates shared deliberately misrepresented the point Trump was trying to make. While he did say Putin’s decision was “pretty smart” during a speech Wednesday night at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, he was not condoning it but rather pointing out that Putin had taken advantage of Biden’s incompetence.
In fact, the former president prefaced his comments by mocking the establishment media’s coverage of him after he had previously said Putin was “sharp” and “smart.”
“‘Oh, Trump said Putin’s smart!’” he said. “I mean, he’s taking over a country for $2 worth of sanctions. I’d say that’s pretty smart.”
Trump went on to explain he had a good relationship with Putin and that this invasion would not have happened if he were still in office.
If those on the left want to disagree with that hypothesis, it is their right. America enjoyed four years of relative peace with Russia during the Trump administration, but if leftists want to argue that peace would not have continued for a second term, more power to them.
However, suggesting Trump was somehow supporting Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine is completely dishonest. He clearly stated that if he were president, he would not have allowed Putin to invade.
It is possible to acknowledge Putin’s wise strategy while also opposing what he is doing. However, HuffPost insisted on conflating those two things.
If a media outlet had written a similarly misleading article about Biden, fact-checkers undoubtedly would have slapped a big “missing context” label onto it. But when it comes to criticizing Trump, they are not held to the same standard.
Bates may be able to get away with sharing a misleading article, but he should not get away with his personal attack against Trump. After all, it was the exact type of disrespectful comment Biden promised would be punished during his administration.