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The President Had No Clothes in Italy

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 This article first appeared in New English Review.

This week’s G7 Summit in Italy was yet another disaster for President Joe Biden. If the American mainstream media chooses to consciously ignore Biden’s cognitive decline, the Italian press had no such inhibitions. It was widely reported in the Italian media how Biden, apparently due to tiredness, skipped a gala dinner for Italian President Sergio Mattarella, and inexplicably wandered off from where the G7 leaders were gathered to watch military parachutists land at their feet. In addition, Biden seemed to drift off as Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli was giving his rousing conclusion of “Nessun Dorma”.

Truth be told, Italy’s conservative Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, had her hands full hosting the likes of Biden, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and French President, Emmanuel Macron. Meloni has an especially poisoned relationship with Macron.

But isn’t it curious how Biden’s condition can be so widely reported by the Italian press while most of the American mainstream media keeps it under wraps-even when it is so painfully obvious to the casual observer? It brings to mind the old fable about the emperor’s new clothes. Everyone in the crowd studiously ignores the fact that the emperor is riding a horse naked or proclaims that the emperor has a fine new suit of clothes-except for one lad, in this case, the Italian media, who cries out that the emperor has no clothes.

In countries living under dictatorial rule, one usually has to go to foreign news sources to read or hear about how bad things are in one’s own country. America, however, is not living under a dictatorship although many feel we are heading there. The fact is that every American news source should be covering the issue of Biden’s decline in minute detail, not necessarily to tear him down, but to point out that the country has a serious problem with a leader who is not up to the job. Were Biden the president of the Congo or even Switzerland, it might not be such a big deal. But the US is supposed to be the leader of the free world, and the free world is under many serious threats these days.  Many in Europe fear that the US can no longer be relied upon for leadership. Biden’s performance at the G7 in Italy, just as at the D-Day commemoration in France, only buttressed that anxiety.

Yet, with the notable exceptions of Fox News, talk radio, or conservative newspapers like the New York Post, our own mainstream media ignores it-just as they ignored President John F. Kennedy’s dalliances or President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s being unable to walk on his own due to polio. The fact that our current president is in cognitive decline is a huge deal-certainly newsworthy, certainly a major campaign issue in the November presidential election. Anyone who has been watching Biden for the past five decades he has been in Washington knows that there is a marked change.

Then again, I recall an old friend once remarked to me (sarcastically) that the only thing the people need to know is the ball scores. While he was being sarcastic, it seems that our media subscribes to that idea-at least depending on who the president is. 


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