by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Biden just got back from a disastrous trip to Saudi Arabia, and all we’re really hearing from the media is crickets.
With a only few highlights of Biden’s flaws during his visit and a preoccupation with human rights issues instead of our hamstrung credibility, the corporate media are content with their coverage of a failed diplomacy attempt that signals only weakness from the United States.
On July 13, Biden visited Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (often referred to by his initials MBS) ostensibly to “strengthen a strategic partnership” to compete against China, increase stability in the Middle East, and fight Russian aggression, per an article Biden himself published in The Washington Post.
The real purpose of the visit was to relieve the gas price problem, caused in large part by Biden’s green policies, soaring inflation, and sanctions on Russia, which have converged to tank his approval rating. (He all but admitted this in his article.) The only tangible thing that seems to have arisen from the U.S.-Saudi meeting, however, is a transfusion of strength between the two countries’ reputations: Saudi Arabia was just recognized by the leader of the free world, and the United States just begged for oil from a state our president called a “pariah” on the campaign trail.
The mild criticism the corporate media directs at Biden is not enough. From the fist bump with MBS, whom the CIA reports sanctioned the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, to the lack of specific agreements binding Saudi Arabia to sell more oil, the trip was a president-sized flop, and the media are covering for him.
The fist bump was bad, but it remains the only aspect of the trip many outlets will cover, turning the poorly judged gesture into a red herring.