Twitter Recoils at NY Times Attempt to Manufacture a Joe Biden ‘Deplorables’ Moment


Former Vice President Joe Biden said that a small percentage of the population are “not very good people,” and the New York Times tried to turn it into a “deplorables” moment. Blue-check Twitter was largely not buying it.

During an hourlong virtual roundtable with black supporters Thursday night, saying “The words a president says matter, so when a president stands up and divides people all the time, you’re going to get the worst of us to come out.”

“Do we really think this is as good as we can be as a nation? I don’t think the vast majority of people think that,” Biden continued, then dropped the big money quote: “There are probably anywhere from 10 to 15 percent of the people out there that are just not very good people, but that’s not who we are. The vast majority of the people are decent, and we have to appeal to that and we have to unite people — bring them together. Bring them together.”

That prompted the NYT to publish a story on the event entitled “Biden Says About ‘10 to 15 Percent’ of Americans Are ‘Not Very Good People’”, and to make this observation:

Mr. Biden’s comments harked back to controversial statements by past presidential nominees who generalized in negative terms about portions of the population. In 2012, Mitt Romney, whose taped comments at a private fund-raising event were later leaked, said “47 percent” of voters would never support him because they were “dependent on the government.” And in 2016, Hillary Clinton said half of Mr. Trump’s supporters belonged in a “basket of deplorables.”

There’s little evidence that the “deplorables” remark itself did political damage to Hillary Clinton, but it did become a rallying cry among Trump’s supporters, and a source of frustration for observers who noted mountains of data supporting Clinton’s premise.

Verified Twitter’s reaction to Biden’s remarks was varied, but included very little of the outrage — feigned or otherwise — that Clinton’s remark generated. There was a significant consensus that if anything, Biden greatly underestimated the percentage of not very good people out there.

Others — including CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski, called out the Times for “reaching,” or for failing to properly contextualize, or for trying to “make ‘fetch’ happen,” a reference to the film “Mean Girls” in which one character tries unsuccessfully to introduce a trendy slang term.

Former Bernie Sanders press secretary Briahna Joy Gray and a few others were, however, fully on board. A House Republican spokesman, for example.

Watch the full question and answer above via The Shade Room.

Have a tip we should know?

Filed Under: