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Meacham Explains Why He's Endorsing Biden

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Cross posted to the MRC's NewsBusters blog

On Friday's Amanpour & Co. on PBS, correspondent Walter Isaacson bolstered liberal MSNBC contributor Jon Meacham as nonpartisan as the historian and former Newsweek editor claimed that President Donald Trump will be to blame for a large coronavirus death toll, which he cited as why he is voting for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

In spite of Meacham's history of liberal analysis, Isaacson set up his question on the subject by portraying him as neutral:

ISAACSON: I've known you, Jon, for almost going on 40 years -- it's difficult to think we're that old -- and I've never known your political orientation. I've never known whether you felt more of a Republican or a Democrat. And yet, right now, you said you would favor Joe Biden because he has certain character traits. Explain to me why you came to that conclusion.

In fact, Meacham has an extensive history of slanting left. He once claimed that President Ronald Reagan "treated the poor poorly," and he also hinted that he would prefer to vote for dog feces instead of Trump or Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

As he answered, after proclaiming that sometimes "you have a moral obligation to say what you think," the liberal historian added:

MEACHAM: I believe that, as we read more and more of these reconstructions, as we look at more and more of what we call it, tick tocks, we will see that the Trump administration, because of the character of the person at the top, created a reality distortion field that slowed and warped a response that's going to kill more people than the Vietnam War did. And, in that case, given those stakes, and if there's a choice at hand, I don't mind saying who my choice would be.

Earlier in the pre-recorded segment, Isaacson invited Meacham to attack Trump, asking him how the President "and his movement have perverted" empathy. Here's Wolfson:

WALTER ISAACSON: One of the doctrines that you write about in your book, Hope of Glory, is this notion of empathy -- this notion of that which you do to the least of us -- how is that something that you feel President Trump and his movement have perverted?

In his response, Meacham blamed President for putting illegal immigrant children in cages without mentioning that the "cages" were built and first used by President Barack Obama's administration, and are still defended by the former President's Homeland Security Secretary.

Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Friday, April 3, Amanpour & Co. on PBS:

WALTER ISAACSON: One of the doctrines that you write about in your book, Hope of Glory, is this notion of empathy -- this notion of that which you do to the least of us -- how is that something that you feel President Trump and his movement have perverted?

JON MEACHAM, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, we have children in cages at the border, right? We have a rhetoric of members of Congress should go home when home is their district, not their family's country of origin. Leave aside the religious part, America has always been stronger when we have not been isolationists, when we haven't built walls, when we've opened our arms.

(…)

ISAACSON: I've known you, Jon, for almost going on 40 years -- it's difficult to think we're that old -- and I've never known your political orientation. I've never known whether you felt more of a Republican or a Democrat. And yet, right now, you said you would favor Joe Biden because he has certain character traits. Explain to me why you came to that conclusion.

MEACHAM: I think we are seeing, in the most elemental way, the significance and the relevance of a fact-based and enlightenment-driven, empathetic presidency of the United States. I wrote the piece about Vice President Biden because it seemed to me that, at a certain point, if you have any claim on people's attention, however minor, you have a moral obligation to say what you think.

And I believe that, as we read more and more of these reconstructions, as we look at more and more of what we call it, tick tocks, we will see that the Trump administration, because of the character of the person at the top, created a reality distortion field that slowed and warped a response that's going to kill more people than the Vietnam War did. And, in that case, given those stakes, and if there's a choice at hand, I don't mind saying who my choice would be.

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