Joe Biden calls Fox News' Peter Doocy an SOB. He shouldn't have. Why it's not a big deal

·4 min read

President Joe Biden called Fox News reporter Peter Doocy a “stupid son of a b----” Monday.

In the small scheme of things, Biden should not have said it. Like Donald Trump before him, Biden should project at least the notion of civility and convey the stature of the office.

In the larger scheme of things, who cares?

Trump didn’t when he was president. Trump supporters didn’t when Trump made crass remarks. But oh, the hand-wringing over Biden’s comment Monday afternoon among some on the right. Break out the smelling salts.

“Grave attack on press freedom,” journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted. “This is what the Nazis did: incited hatred against those who challenge them.”

Give me a break.

For context: President Biden caught on hot mic calling reporter a 'stupid son of a b----' over inflation question

President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference in the East Room of the White House Wednesday in Washington.
President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference in the East Room of the White House Wednesday in Washington.

At least Biden didn't call Doocy an 'enemy of the people'

You know what Biden didn’t call Doocy? An enemy of the people. Trump did, several times when he was in office, and that insult carries far more historical weight (as Greenwald doubtless knows). It was favored by Joseph Stalin, for instance.

Trump also exhorted his followers at rallies to boo the media there and used the term “fake news” to describe any story he didn’t like, even (especially) if it was true — so much, in fact, that it has become a knee-jerk response by right-wing fanatics to any story.

Here’s what happened Monday: After Biden addressed reporters, Doocy shouted a question as they were being ushered out of the room. Does Biden believe inflation will be a political liability in the midterm elections?

"That’s a great asset — more inflation,” Biden said sarcastically to no one in particular, evidently not realizing his microphone was still on. “What a stupid son of a b----.”

Peter Doocy of Fox News holds up Wilmington Brew Works' new Joe Biden-themed beer on "Special Report" last week.
Peter Doocy of Fox News holds up Wilmington Brew Works' new Joe Biden-themed beer on "Special Report" last week.

The White House didn’t exactly try to cover it up — it’s included in the official transcript of the meeting. And some on Twitter defended Biden.

Many did not. Rep. Lauren Boebert tweeted about it. Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted about it. Randy Quaid, the actor and Trump supporter, did, too.

“Brandon ought to be looking in a mirror next time he wants to call someone a stupid son-of-a-b----,” Quaid tweeted.

And there you have it: hypocrisy. The “Let’s go Brandon!” crowd is suddenly offended? (If you don’t know, “Let’s go Brandon” is code for an obscenity — a much worse obscenity — used as an insult to Biden.) This is the height of absurdity.

For his part, Doocy was a good sport about the whole thing. Appearing on Fox News later, he said in the moment he didn’t even hear what Biden said. Jesse Watters, laughing, told Doocy that in fact Biden is right, that is what he is.

“Yeah, nobody has fact-checked him yet and said it’s not true,” Doocy said.

Fox News showed less humor in its news alert: Raging Biden curses out Fox News correspondent." I must have missed the "raging" part. Biden sounded pretty placid.

It was a stupid question. Sometimes they get memorable answers

It was a stupid question. Of course inflation is a political liability. But stupid questions sometimes yield memorable answers — which, you’d have to say, this one did.

Doocy, the son of “Fox & Friends” co-host Steve Doocy, has carved out a niche for himself as the reporter who will joust with Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, on all things Biden. Sometimes he asks legitimate questions, sometimes it plays out as more performance art designed to appeal to the Fox News audience. After every media briefing, Twitter is split down the middle over who owned who, depending on the political persuasion of the person tweeting.

But Biden and Psaki definitely know who Doocy is.

'SNL': Joe Biden blames omicron, inflation and everything else on ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’

Many people pointed out on Twitter that Biden isn’t the only politician to judge Doocy’s questions. A clip of the late Sen. John McCain of Arizona, a frequent Trump target, circulated online Monday. Doocy asked McCain if his relationship with Trump had frayed to the point that he wouldn’t support anything the president brings forth.

“Why would you say something that stupid?” McCain said. “ Why would you ask something that dumb?”

To get an answer.

The uproar over Biden’s word choice will blow over, as it should, and as it did with Trump’s many insults to the media. The disputes over seemingly everything else will not.

More: Joe Biden set to make first late-night TV appearance as president on 'The Tonight Show'

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Joe Biden shouldn't have called Peter Doocy an SOB. It's no big deal

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