Ross: Whose job is it to cut Joe Biden off?
It was one of those C-SPAN moments. Antony Blinken, Secretary of State, is in front of a Senate Committee trying yet again to explain Afghanistan, when Idaho Senator Jim Risch demanded to know whose job it is to cut off Joe Biden’s audio. Blinken seemed confused and said there’s nobody whose job it is to cut off Joe Biden’s audio.
“Are you telling this committee that this does not happen — that there’s no one in the White House who pushes a button and cuts him off in mid-sentence?” Risch asked.
The senator was referring to Biden’s appearance with firefighters in Idaho where he posed for a photo op, talked about global warming, and then said he wanted to ask the firefighters a question.
“Can I ask you a question? One of the things that I’ve been working on with some others is …”
And the audio just stops.
Senator Risch couldn’t believe Blinken didn’t know about this:
“You’re telling us that you didn’t know anything about this?” Risch asked. “That somebody cuts him off in mid-sentence? Is that what you’re trying to tell this committee?”
The senator said it also happened last March after Biden’s opening remarks to a meeting of the House Democratic caucus, just as he said he was happy to take questions.
“I’m happy to take questions if that’s what I’m supposed to do next. Whatever you want me to do, …” Biden said.
Now, I know a lot about having my audio cut off. As a reporter, I’ve had it done to me. I’ll have my machine plugged into the media feed of a speech, and you always keep rolling after the end, hoping to get that open mic moment, but the audio guy cuts it off.
And that’s exactly what the White House does with Biden. When it comes to the private part, they cut the audio.
So, yes, it’s a nothing story, but I DO share Senator Risch’s frustration. And he was really frustrated.
“His sentence was cut off in mid-sentence,” Risch exclaimed.
Yes, it was. But let’s look at the positive side: This is actually a bipartisan moment. You see, I listen to a LOT of Joe Biden on C-SPAN – he can go on forever. A lot of people wish there WAS someone to cut the audio. And yet here’s a conservative Republican who genuinely wants to hear more. He wants to hear more Joe!
So I think the White House should just start streaming everything Joe says. Frankly, I’d record every president 24/7. We used to do that. That’s how we know LBJ stayed in Vietnam just to save face. That’s how we know Nixon was a crook. There’s no debate – it’s all on tape.
If we taped presidents 24/7, it would have been a lot easier to figure out who screwed up Afghanistan, and who caused January 6th. And Bob Woodward could write his books in half the time.
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