CNN: Biden used Marines “as a political pawn” for his campaign speech

Source: Hot Air

Kudos not just to CNN’s Brianna Keilar, whose New Day show is reportedly on the Warner/Discovery chopping block, but also to Allison Jaslow for taking a principled stand on this point. Jaslow worked at the upper levels of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and fully endorses Joe Biden’s execrable speech last night on substance. However, as an Iraq War combat vet, Jaslow took offense to the stagecraft of the speech that included the Marine guard at Independence Hall as a backdrop.

“Somebody made a decision to put those Marines in the shot,” Jaslow points out, “and the reality is those Marines didn’t have a choice whether to be there or not.” Their presence undermined the entire point of Biden’s speech, which was — according to Jaslow — supposed to return America to political normalcy (via Mediaite):

There are a lot of people who are taking issue with us just raising this point. Listen, you know, there are Marines that could have organically showed up in some frame, sure, those were obviously men that were put there and they’re different than volunteers that would fill up a stage at a campaign event or even an official event that is put together.

And I think — you know, I wasn’t looking for attention when I commented on your point that the military was being unnecessarily politicized in this instance, but it’s true. Somebody made a decision to put those Marines in the shot and the reality is those Marines didn’t have a choice whether to be there or not. So they could be like myself who if I was in the military still would have agreed with the president and would have welcomed being at the event yesterday, but we don’t know that that’s true.

And the reality is that like we need to make sure that our military is as removed from politics as possible and it’s not right if a Democrat uses the military as a political pawn and it’s not right if the Republican Party does it as well. None of our politicians or elected leaders should do that and I think it’s important to speak up and say so when it’s done.

If this event had taken place at the White House outside the front door, the inclusion of the two Marines on guard duty would have been understandable and unavoidable. That’s not what happened, however. Biden delivered that speech in front of Independence Hall, so the inclusion of the Marines in the background was a deliberate stagecraft choice.

Even that wouldn’t necessarily have been objectionable, had the speech stuck to non-partisan points. If the speech last night had just been a celebration of Independence Hall on some anniversary, or better yet a celebration of the Marine Corps itself, the Marines in the background might have been a nice touch.

As it is, though, Biden delivered a midterm campaign speech against his opposition — and used Marines to stage it. That’s a much worse exploitation of the military that Keilar’s example of sending National Guard troops to the southern border, which contrary to her claim is a legitimate function for the National Guard. That wasn’t an appearance at a campaign event either, but a response to an actual crisis that Biden has made exponentially worse since taking office.

Frankly, though, the stagecraft doesn’t even make my top ten list of reasons to despise Biden’s demagoguery last night. It still is a worthy criticism of Biden’s shameless hypocrisy, however, made all the more notable for the sources of this criticism, especially Jaslow but also notably Jeff Zeleny, Keilar’s co-host this morning. All of them are paying for it on social media, of course:

Hosts Brianna Keilar and Jeff Zeleny were just a few of the people upset at the commander-in-chief using Marines to back him during his speech — sparking demands for their axing and an outright boycott of the left-wing network.

“You are clearly a shill for the RNC,” one person whose Twitter bio includes a #BidenHarris2020 hashtag tweeted Zeleny just for saying that using the Marine Band was “a break with White House traditions.”

“Your sheets are showing.” …

“Brianna Keilar has sold her soul,” one person told their more than 90,000 followers, while others said the tweet proved she is now “straight up MAGA.”

“You know CNNs transformation into Baby Fox News is officially complete when Brianna Keilar goes MAGA,” one “vote blue” supporter said.

“Uncovering The Truth” podcaster Dash Dobrofsky also told his 109,000 followers that Keilar’s criticism proved that “CNN stands against Biden and supports Fascism.”

Others suggested that because Keilar and Zeleny had shared the same thought it must be proof that they were under the control of right-wing forces supposedly now in charge at the network.

All this shows is that Twitter is a deeply unserious platform. But we already knew that.

Kudos again to Keilar, Zeleny, CNN, and especially Jaslow. We’ll have lots of disagreements with Jaslow in the future, and I vehemently disagree with her take on the speech itself, but she has guts — and guts is sometimes enough.