April 17, 2021


travel, Always a step ahead

Media circles wagons for conspiracy theorist Neera Tanden

6 min read

Neera TandenNeera TandenThe Memo: Biden faces first major setback as Tanden teeters On The Money: Manhattan DA obtains Trump tax returns | Biden nominee previews post-Trump trade agenda | Biden faces first setback as Tanden teeters Washington Post denounces abuse of reporter MORE‘s nomination as the next director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is currently on hold, after past tweets revealed deeply partisan and personal attacks that will do nothing to raise the level of discourse, unity and bipartisanship, which candidate Joe Biden ran on.

Of course, President BidenJoe BidenBiden ‘disappointed’ in Senate parliamentarian ruling but ‘respects’ decision Taylor Swift celebrates House passage of Equality Act Donald Trump Jr. calls Bruce Springsteen’s dropped charges ‘liberal privilege’ MORE‘s actions now, compared to his campaign deeds, are night and day different. 

Candidate Biden once claimed that a U.S. president relying on executive orders and actions would be acting like a dictator. President Biden proceeded to sign more than five dozen of them in his first month in office. 

Candidate Biden said the migrant facilities that held “kids in cages” would cease to exist in his administration. President Biden just opened one up, after waves of migrants came flooding across the border and forced the administration’s hand. 

And now we have the nomination of Tanden, a virtual conspiracy theorist around whom some prominent quarters of the media are now circling the wagons despite some of her past tweets that make one wonder how Team Biden even considered her for such a prominent position in the first place. 

Tanden’s nomination is on hold while Democrats try to find the votes for confirmation after Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinMinimum wage setback revives progressive calls to nix Senate filibuster Biden ‘disappointed’ in Senate parliamentarian ruling but ‘respects’ decision House Democrats to keep minimum wage hike in COVID-19 relief bill for Friday vote MORE (D-W.Va.) – now the most powerful senator in the 50-50 chamber – said he would vote against her, joining moderate GOP Sens. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyGrassley to vote against Tanden nomination The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by The AIDS Institute – Ahead: One-shot vax, easing restrictions, fiscal help Haley isolated after Trump fallout MORE (R-Utah), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsHouse passes sweeping protections for LGBTQ people Grassley to vote against Tanden nomination Klain on Manchin’s objection to Neera Tanden: He ‘doesn’t answer to us at the White House’ MORE (R-Maine), Ben SasseBen SasseOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Key vote for Haaland’s confirmation | Update on oil and gas leasing | SEC update on climate-related risk disclosure requirements Josh Hawley is a conservative without a clue Republican Party going off the rails? MORE (R-Neb.) and Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyPhilly GOP commissioner on censures: ‘I would suggest they censure Republican elected officials who are lying’ Toomey censured by several Pennsylvania county GOP committees over impeachment vote Toomey on Trump vote: ‘His betrayal of the Constitution’ required conviction MORE (R-Pa.) and effectively putting an end to her chances for confirmation.  

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersHouse Democrats to keep minimum wage hike in COVID-19 relief bill for Friday vote Sanders slams parliamentarian decision on minimum wage Parliamentarian nixes minimum wage hike in coronavirus bill MORE (I-Vt.) has not said how he would vote on Tanden. Gee, wonder why? Perhaps because Tanden claimed in 2016, with no evidence, that “Russia did a lot more to help Bernie than the DNC’s random internal emails did to help Hillary.”

“My language and my expressions on social media caused hurt to people, and I feel badly about that,” she told Sanders when confronted during confirmation hearings last week. “And I really regret it and I recognize that it’s really important for me to demonstrate that I can work with others.”   

No. This is more than just “language and expressions.” This is about accusing a longtime senator, one with a clean-conduct record, of not earning votes on his own but benefiting from a hostile adversary. 

Overall, Tanden has reportedly deleted more than 1,000 tweets heading into her confirmation hearings. Yep, 1,000. Fairly certain they weren’t family vacation photos that were purged. 

Included in Tanden’s greatest online hits were her references to Sen. Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMinimum wage setback revives progressive calls to nix Senate filibuster Schiff sees challenges for intel committee, community in Trump’s shadow McConnell says he’d back Trump as 2024 GOP nominee MORE (R-Ky.) as “Moscow Mitch” and “Voldemort.” In 2018, she attacked Sen. Collins during the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughThe Jan. 6 case for ending the Senate filibuster Laurence Tribe: Justice Thomas is out of order on 2020 election LIVE COVERAGE: Senate set to consider Garland for AG MORE. “Susan Collins’ terrible treatment of Dr. Ford should haunt Collins for the rest of her days,” Tanden wrote before adding that Collins was “criminally ignorant” for not believing another Kavanaugh accuser, Julie Swetnick, who offered accounts of alleged gang rapes committed by Kavanaugh. 

Tanden also helped to spread the conspiracy theory that Russian hackers actually changed Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocratic strategists start women-run media consulting firm Pelosi top fundraiser moves to House Democratic super PAC Mean tweets may take down Biden nominee MORE votes to Donald Trump in the 2016 election. Again, Tanden provided no evidence to support this claim, which was shot down by every credible federal investigatory agency and counsel that has looked into Russian interference. 

“Russians did enough damage to affect more than 70k votes in 3 states,” Tanden wrote in Nov. 2016 regarding Trump wins in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, adding, “Why would hackers hack in unless they could change results? What’s the point?”

But some in the media are describing such Twitter statements as “mean tweets” that should be excused because former President TrumpDonald TrumpDonald Trump Jr. calls Bruce Springsteen’s dropped charges ‘liberal privilege’ Schiff sees challenges for intel committee, community in Trump’s shadow McConnell says he’d back Trump as 2024 GOP nominee MORE also behaved meanly on Twitter, therefore making it okay for Tanden to do the same before joining the unity-themed Team Biden. A Washington Post op-ed this week even laughably referred to her Alex Jones-level of conspiracy theories as “the truth.” 

Not to be outdone, another Post op-ed blamed “a sexist double standard” for Tanden’s nomination likely being derailed by the likes of Sen. Collins and possibly Sen. Sanders. 

And then there’s Politico’s take: “Neera Tanden Got Twitter Right—And That Was Her Problem.”


Or this from Vanity Fair:

It’s fairly ironic that some members of the media are defending Tanden with such vigor, given her treatment of some of them in the past — including slugging or pushing a reporter from the liberal Think Progress think tank for asking a perfectly reasonable question. As the New York Times reported: “Faiz Shakir, the chief editor of the think tank’s ThinkProgress website, asked Mrs. Clinton a question about the Iraq war, an issue dogging her candidacy because she had supported it. Ms. Tanden responded by circling back to Mr. Shakir after the interview and, according to a person in the room, punching him in the chest. ‘I didn’t slug him, I pushed him,’ a still-angry Ms. Tanden corrected.” 

Oh, well … that makes it all perfectly acceptable. 

The excuse that because Trump did it, that makes it okay for someone else to do it, too, is just too comical. 

Joe Biden was elected, in part, to take down the temperature in Washington. To unite. To find a path to bipartisanship, per his own words. 

Standing by someone of Neera Tanden’s character and judgement is another example of such words from Biden ringing awfully hollow. 

Joe Concha is a media and politics columnist for The Hill.

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