NOW - Biden tells a story about pitcher Satchel Paige, referring to him as "the great negro at the time."pic.twitter.com/uwnkUlBTsL— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) November 11, 2021
Biden is known to stumble over his words at times. He does this more than most politicians. But this wasn't a stumble -- Biden merely shifted gears in the middle of a sentence the way anyone else might. He intended to refer to Paige as a pitcher in the Negro Leagues -- the recognized name for the Black baseball leagues that formed in segregated America in the first half of the twentieth century -- and after a brief hesitation, he said "Negro Leagues."
And I just want to tell you, I know you’re a little younger than I am, but, you know, I’ve adopted the attitude of the great Negro — at the time, pitcher in the Negro Leagues — went on to become a great pitcher in the pros — in the Major League Baseball after Jackie Robinson. His name was Satchel Paige.He stumbled over the fact that Paige wasn't allowed into the previously all-white Major Leagues until 1948, when he was 42 and had been pitching for more than two decades. But there's nothing racist about what Biden said, and it's disgraceful that anyone treated it that way.
And Satchel Paige, on his 47th birthday, pitched a win against Chicago. (Laughs.) And all the press went in and said, “Satch, it’s amazing — 47 years old. No one’s ever, ever pitched a win at age 47. How do you feel about being 47?” He said, “Boys, that’s not how I look at it.” They said, “How do you look at it, Satch?” He said, “I look at it this way: How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?”
This was mostly a "scandal" on social media and in the right-wing press. That's not the case for the shameful treatment of a couple of Kamala Harris's public statements in Europe:
The @VP again used the "thee" pronunciation for the word "the" when making a point. Some critics have claimed she appeared to adopt "a fake French accent" when she said "the plan" during a tour of a research lab on Tuesday. Today at Paris press conference, she said "the topic." pic.twitter.com/v54sLW3LZr— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) November 12, 2021
In this clip, Harris does what any native English speaker would do when trying to emphasize the word "the": She pronounces it "thee." There's nothing going on here apart from that.
The "French accent" nonsense is a reference to this:
Kamala Harris uses a fake French accent while speaking to French scientists at the Pasteur Institute in Paris. pic.twitter.com/yCGPcLVJkN— America Rising (@AmericaRising) November 10, 2021
Again, it's emphasis. She even explains it for the comprehension-challenged: "With us in government" (she's referring to politicians in America) "we campaign with The Plan -- uppercase T, uppercase P." The notion that this sounds French doesn't even make sense:
Wouldn't the French pronunciation be "Zeeee"?— Joe Kopcha (@jkopcha) November 12, 2021
The mainstream press has disgraced itself by taking this seriously -- here's the original "French accent" allegation at Britain's Independent; the reporter fixated on "thee" works for Bloomberg. She subsequently tweeted this:
FWIW, as a reporter in the room for both sets of remarks by the VP, I heard zero French accent in her words.— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) November 12, 2021
So why did you post the tweet in the first place?
Jacobs's Twitter bio says her job is
Reporting what I know, not what I think.I respect her highly principled objection to reporting what she thinks but doesn't know, but it appears she doesn't have a problem reporting what other people think but don't know.
The Biden administration needs to start playing hardball with some of these news organizations -- denying them interviews with administration officials for a while, not giving them credentials for a presidential event or two -- just to teach them a lesson. Otherwise, the president and his team will continue to be punching bags.