New Delhi: A date with media freedom, to put it sarcastically. It did not happen with a 'Hindutva' man, Narendra Modi of India. Worse, it did not happen under 'whimsical and moody' Donald Trump.
It all happened in front of 'Democrat' Joe Biden, supposed to be the virtuous President – who by 'design' is also a darling of Indian liberals, 'freedom of speech' lovers and even 'Pegasus victims'. Journalists were moved out mid-way during a press conference and question-answer session with Biden himself and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the Oval Office in the White House.
In an extremely bizarre episode, journalists were asked to move out midway when Johnson was responding. The White House officials did the unique honour to 'democracy' and 'world of freedom of expression'. Most journalists were later found shell-shocked. All these to shield Joe Biden from being asked 'questions'?
Imagine this happened even in a district in India with a second or third rung BJP leader! The choicest of phrases would have been thrown – Hitler, demagoguery, autocrat, Hindu fascists!
Apparently, to Biden's surprise, Boris Johnson opened the floor to the questions, and subsequently, the drama unfolded! Hail, 'superpower' and the world's Greatest Democracy!
There could be plenty of reasons for Biden to avoid the press. His 'Afghanistan fiasco' is now legendary. He irked a longtime friend of the US, France, by his now-famous AUKUS alliance and the UK and Australia. Did he apologize to French President Emmanuel Macron?
Some sceptics would say the tenure of Joe Biden as the powerful American president is becoming weirder and more bizarre and unpredictable every day. There are other serious problems – the COVID-19 crisis is back again in the United States. Is this 'the America' – that is 'back'? – Something Democrats would proudly declare?
Lately, a survey revealed the worst. His declining popularity, and if that was not enough, the Americans seem to endorse Donald Trump! The latest survey reveals as against 46 per cent of Biden, 48 per cent of respondents favour his predecessor, Trump. Other figures would also go against him and his admirers and party men and women. At least 51 per cent of those surveyed said Trump was a 'better' President, and Biden was acceptable among the remaining 49 per cent.
Biden and his team and 'spin masters' would have to get things corrected soon as the 'declinism' came after June. Joe Biden's popularity in June was 62 per cent approval, falling to 52 in July, and now the graph is down to 48 per cent.
"I shouldn't have been such a wise guy," Biden pompously said once.
Well, it's for anyone now to take up the debate further!