Tom Nichols bemoans ‘irresponsible’ CNN chyron repeating Biden’s words instead of spinning them

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An establishment media figure who describes himself as a “defender of experts” complained Saturday after CNN committed the grave sin of conducting some actual journalism.

Speaking in Poland, President Joe Biden said on Saturday that Russian President Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power.”

“For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power” were his exact words.

The stunning remark provoked a global uproar, according to The Washington Post.

“It was a remarkable statement that would reverse stated U.S. policy, directly countering claims from senior administration officials, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who have insisted regime change is not on the table,” the Post reported.

“It went further than even U.S. presidents during the Cold War, and immediately reverberated around the world as world leaders, diplomats, and foreign policy experts sought to determine what Biden said, what it meant — and, if he didn’t mean it, why he said it.”

To its credit, CNN got with the program and reported the truth — or at least it did via its chyrons, namely one that read, “Biden: Putin Cannot Remain In Power.”

But though the chyron was a perfectly accurate, verbatim quote from Biden’s speech, it infuriated Tom Nichols, a “contributing writer” at The Atlantic whose Twitter bio describes him as a “defender of” so-called “experts.”


According to Nichols, it was “irresponsible” for CNN to report Biden’s exact words without adding context, such as the apparent fact that “Biden was … just being Biden,” and that what he’d said had been a mere “gaffe.”

The Atlantic writer was so confident in this belief that he even penned a column about it.

“What Biden was doing, of course, was being Joe Biden. He was speaking for all of us, from the heart. One of the more endearing things about the president—at least for those of us who admire him—is that he has almost no inner monologue and regularly engages in the kind of gaffe where a politician says something that is impolitic but true,” Nichols wrote.

After throwing in some light criticism of the president, Nichols then concluded his sycophantic piece by calling for “let[ting] his remark pass for what it was—an outburst—and get[ting] back to helping Ukraine save its independence.”

Over on Twitter meanwhile, he acted as if the Biden administration walking back the president’s remarks were enough to clear the air.

“The president’s point was that Putin cannot be allowed to exercise power over his neighbors or the region. He was not discussing Putin’s power in Russia or regime change,” a White House official has reportedly claimed.

Nichols appears to believe that this simple statement alone is enough to undo the “global uproar” caused by the president’s clear-as-day remarks.

Neither Nichols’ tweets nor his write-up have been well-received on Twitter.


The irony is that Nichols, who appears to be a far-leftist, never gave former President Donald Trump this generosity when he “gaffed,” as subtly noted in the tweet below:


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