CBS News mocked for 'love fest' feature on Jill Biden: 'No puff piece on Melania' in 2016

Melania Trump did not receive the same treatment, news analyst says

“CBS Sunday Morning” ran a glowing feature on Jill Biden on Sunday but Media Research Center news analyst Nicholas Fondacaro called it a “gooey puff piece” and criticized CBS correspondent Rita Braver for a “love fest” that Melania Trump never received when her husband was running for president.

“Between excited fawning over the idea of continuing to teach and playing pranks around the White House, it was obvious that Braver desperately wanted Biden to be her ‘unconventional’ first lady,” Fondacaro wrote.

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The segment began with footage of Jill Biden stepping in front of her husband, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, to protect him from a heckler who crashed a pre-coronavirus campaign rally. The CBS reporter said “Jill Biden has always stood up for her family,” and the clip was simply another example.

“In that vein, Braver helped Jill protect the media’s presidential candidate by weakly bring up the allegations of inappropriate and unwanted touching against Joe,” Fondacaro said, noting that Braver allowed Jill Biden to sidestep allegations of unwanted touching against her husband and allegations levied by Tara Reade weren’t mentioned whatsoever.

“She let Biden brush it aside as ‘a space issue. They felt that they wanted more space.’ Biden also insisted that Joe had ‘learned from it’ and ‘keeps his distance,’” Fondacaro wrote. Fox News host Mark Levin characterized the piece as showing CBS was "all in" for Biden.

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The segment also featured a trip down memory lane, with a story about how excited her grandparents were to first meet Joe Biden decades ago. CBS’ segment then pivoted to praising Biden for her background as a teacher, but Fondacaro found it hypocritical.

“Braver gushed about how her subject ‘got a doctorate in education and has worked as a community college teacher for years, even as second lady,” Fondacaro wrote. “Meanwhile, the opposition press has railed against Second Lady Karen Pence for teaching art at a religious private school.”

Biden said she plans to continue teaching if she becomes first lady, and she would also advocate for free community college in addition to putting an emphasis on cancer research and support for military families.

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“As the segment wrapped up, Braver turned to gush about a prank Biden had played on Air Force 2 as second lady,” Fondacaro wrote, pointing out they joked about having a prankster in the White House “as they stood on a Delaware beach, in the middle of a pandemic, with other people around, and no masks.”

Fondacaro also observed, “When Trump was running for president, there was no 'CBS Sunday Morning' puff piece for Melania.”

CBS News did not immediately respond to a request for comment.