Column: The ‘Purrfect’ Press Pandering Over Biden’s Cat

A memorable scene in the movie “93” Dave involved the president and first lady walking their dog in front of the cameras and promptly dumping him on staff when they walked into the White House. Having a pet is an easy way to get positive press that “humanizes” any politician, so almost every president does it – and milks it.

Socks the cat came with the Clintons 1993. After the Lewinsky scandal, Buddy the dog was added to the Clintons’ household at the close of 1997. Hillary Clinton came out with a children’s book in 1998 titled Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids’ Letters to the First Pets” But when they left office in 2001, the Clintons took Buddy to New York, and Socks got left behind with Clinton aide Betty Currie.

The promotional wave was repeated on Friday, January 31st when the Bidens revealed that Willow, a cat they had adopted from the White House, would be joining them. The news was announced by all three networks. NBC offered several syrupy stories from Kelly O’Donnell, their senior White House correspondent. To pet power, she was a stenographer.


It’s a little embarrassing that ABC gave this happy “cat’s out of the bag” story 45 seconds on Good Morning America….which Geoffrey Dickens of NewsBusters reports was twice as much time as the 23 seconds ABC’s morning and evening newscasts devoted to the torture and genocide of the Uighur Muslims in communist China. Because apparently, genocide doesn’t go with toast and jam. Also, Disney sucking up to China.

It might seem strange to mix genocide with pets. But that’s what MSNBC did to Donald Trump in 2018. The media savaged Trump for refusing the pet pattern, especially when he called someone a “dog.”

Check out his Show The 11th Hour, disgraced ex-NBC anchor Brian Williams noted, “We launched an extensive web search that took us at least a few minutes and could only find one photo in all the land of Donald Trump with a dog.” Williams wondered if this was because Trump was a “germaphobe.”

Washington Post reporter Philip Rucker added “He’s actually the first president in more than 100 years who has not had a dog as a pet in the White House.” Then he said Trump using the word “dog” as an insult is “deadly serious” in “dehumanizing his enemies,” because “there’s a long history of authoritarian leaders who have used these animalistic slurs as insults to dehumanize individuals or groups of people. During the Holocaust, the Nazis would call Jews rats.”

Get a dog….or you might be a Nazi.

Willow the cat, however, was able to draw gushes from that very same program The 11th Hour from usually scowling fill-in host Mehdi Hasan. “Forget SCOTUS! After the White House’s first cat made her White House debut, hashtag COTUS was trending throughout the day. Willow is a two-year-old gray and white Tabby named after the First Lady’s hometown of Willow Grove, Pennsylvania,” he said. Hasan noted Jen Psaki was asked if we’ll be seeing Willow in the briefing room, and she tweeted, “She has a standing invitation. It would be purrrfect.” He touted “Comedy gold there from the press secretary.”

Presidents should feel free to bring a pet – or resist the syrupy stories and abstain. Even on light topics, liberal media is able to demonstrate the most partisan double-standard of light and darkness, of cloying sweetness and ranting acids, even when it comes down to the most trivial of subjects. 

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