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Media circles wagons for conspiracy theorist Neera Tanden

Media circles wagons for conspiracy theorist Neera Tanden
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Neera TandenNeera TandenFive ways an obscure Senate ruling could change Washington 2024 GOP White House hopefuls lead opposition to Biden Cabinet White House delays release of budget plan 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 BidenObama, Clinton reflect on Mondale's legacy Biden, Harris commend Mondale in paving the way for female VP Mondale in last message to staff: 'Joe in the White House certainly helps' 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. 

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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 ManchinJoe ManchinOn The Money: Treasury creates hub to fight climate change | Manchin throws support behind union-backed PRO Act | Consumer bureau rolls out rule to bolster CDC eviction ban Miners union to back Biden on green energy if it retains jobs Manchin throws support behind union-backed PRO Act 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 RomneyAdvocacy groups pushing Biden to cancel student debt for disabled 15 Senate Republicans pledge to oppose lifting earmark ban The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - All US adults now eligible for COVID vaccines MORE (R-Utah), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate aims to pass anti-Asian hate crimes bill this week This week: Democrats move on DC statehood Trump looms over Senate's anti-Asian hate crimes battle MORE (R-Maine), Ben SasseBen Sasse15 Senate Republicans pledge to oppose lifting earmark ban Toomey warns GOP colleagues to stay away from earmarks Bipartisan lawmakers signal support for Biden cybersecurity picks MORE (R-Neb.) and Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeySasse rebuked by Nebraska Republican Party over impeachment vote Philly 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 MORE (R-Pa.) and effectively putting an end to her chances for confirmation.  

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight Energy: Treasury creates hub to fight climate change through finance | Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez introduce 'Green New Deal for Public Housing' | Don't attack Zoom for its Bernie Sanders federal tax bill Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez introduce 'Green New Deal for Public Housing' 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. 

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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 McConnellHouse votes to condemn Chinese government over Hong Kong 15 Senate Republicans pledge to oppose lifting earmark ban It's not 'woketivism,' it's good business MORE (R-Ky.) as "Moscow Mitch” and “Voldemort." In 2018, she attacked Sen. Collins during the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughBiden's court-packing theater could tame the Supreme Court's conservatives Trump knocks CNN for 'completely false' report Gaetz was denied meeting NY Times beclowns itself by normalizing court-packing 'to balance the conservative majority' 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 ClintonPelosi on power in DC: 'You have to seize it' Cuba readies for life without Castro Chelsea Clinton: Pics of Trump getting vaccinated would help him 'claim credit' 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 TrumpHouse votes to condemn Chinese government over Hong Kong Former Vice President Walter Mondale dies at age 93 White House readies for Chauvin verdict 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."

 

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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." 

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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.