President Joe Biden speaks about infrastructure at the Flatirons Campus of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory on September 14, 2021, in Arvanda, Colo. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)
It was one of those C-SPAN moments. Antony Blinken, Secretary of State, stands before a Senate committee once again trying to explain Afghanistan, when Idaho Senator Jim Risch asked who was responsible for the job of cutting audio from Joe Biden. Blinken sounded confused and said there was no one whose job it was to cut Joe Biden’s audio.
“Are you telling this committee that this doesn’t happen – that there’s no one in the White House pushing a button and interrupting it in the middle of a sentence?” asked Risch.
The senator was referring to Biden’s appearance with firefighters in Idaho where he posed for a photoshoot, spoke about global warming, and then said he wanted to ask the firefighters a question.
“Can I ask you a question? One of the things I have worked on with others is…”
And the sound stops.
Senator Risch couldn’t believe Blinken didn’t know:
“Are you telling us you didn’t know anything about it?” asked Risch. “Someone interrupt him in the middle of a sentence?” Is that what you are trying to tell this committee? “
The senator said this also happened last March after Biden’s opening remarks at a House Democratic caucus meeting, just as he said he was happy to answer questions.
“I’m happy to answer questions if that’s what I’m supposed to do next. Whatever you want me to do,… ”said Biden.
Now I know a lot about cutting my sound off. As a journalist, it was done to me. I’ll have my machine plugged into the media stream of a speech, and you still keep rolling past the end, hoping to get that mike moment open, but the audio guy interrupts it.
And that’s exactly what the White House is doing with Biden. As for the private part, they cut the audio.
So, yes, it is a trivial matter, but I share Senator Risch’s frustration. And he was really frustrated.
“His sentence was cut in the middle of his sentence,” Risch exclaimed.
Yes it was. But let’s look at the bright side: it’s actually a bipartisan moment. 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 mute the audio. And yet, here is a conservative Republican who really wants to know more. He wants to hear more Joe!
So I think the White House should just start broadcasting whatever Joe says. Frankly, I would check in every president 24/7. We were doing that. This is how we know LBJ stayed in Vietnam just to save face. That’s how we know Nixon was a crook. There is no debate – everything is recorded.
If we had recorded Presidents 24/7, it would have been much easier to find out who screwed up Afghanistan and who caused January 6. And Bob Woodward could write his books in half the time.
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