Democrats have spent the last nine months lecturing the American people about the importance of wearing a mask during the coronavirus pandemic. People — Republican political figures especially — who have been seen out in public or attending a gathering maskless have been subjected to public ridicule by reporters as well as mask-shaming by Democrats.
The mainstream media even once had a dedicated group that I dubbed the Mask Patrol. The Mask Patrol consisted of journalists who used their Twitter feeds and/or live TV segments to give up-to-the-minute updates on which Republicans in the Trump administration or Congress were and were not wearing a mask at any given point during the day.
This type of important update has slowed down considerably over the last week or so, and the reasons why are pretty obvious. We have a new sheriff in town — Joe Biden — and he also happens to be a Democrat.
Democrats, as I’ve previously documented, appear to be exempt from the same media mockery heaped on maskless Republicans. Whether it was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on video walking around a salon maskless while getting highlights and a haircut or New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo giving press conferences without one, the party of mask-shamers and their media allies didn’t have much to say.
With all of that in mind, it should be no surprise that the first executive order Joe Biden signed after being sworn in as president revolved around mandating mask-wearing on federal property. Reporters swooned over the fact that Biden wore a mask in the Oval Office while signing the executive order. One from the Associated Press tweeted a photo of Biden along with the message, “President Biden wearing a mask in the Oval Office. Quite the change.”
Hours later, those same reporters had to be in a shock — though if they were, they were oddly quiet about it — over photos and videos that were taken of Biden and his family at the Lincoln Memorial (which is federal property) maskless at certain points. Biden didn’t wear his mask during an interview he gave there, and neither he nor his family members, including first lady Jill Biden, wore masks at various points when family photos were taken.
Trump would have immediately been blasted by Democrats and the press, but Biden was given deference by the Mask Patrol for some reason.
The next day, Biden’s White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked about the maskless Bidens, not by any of the usual suspects who hounded Republicans incessantly about mask-wearing, but by a Fox News reporter, who was more interested in asking about the double standards on display than trying to mask shame.
“Why weren’t President Biden and all members of the Biden family masked at all times last night?” a masked Peter Doocy asked from the front row of the White House briefing room.
Psaki, who wasn’t wearing a mask at the podium, responded by saying Biden “was celebrating an evening, a historic day in our country.” After pointing out the COVID precautions the administration has in place, she told Doocy, “I don’t know that I have more for you on it than that.”
When he followed up with a similar question, Psaki again dismissed it by stating that “Yesterday was a historic moment in our history. [Biden] was inaugurated as president of the United States. He was surrounded by his family. We take a number of precautions, but I think we have bigger issues to worry about at this moment in time.”
What Biden and Psaki did say was the quiet part out loud: There are special rules for Democrats that don’t apply to Republicans when it comes to wearing masks. Predictably, most in the mainstream media, in particular the Mask Patrol, appear to agree.
Media analyst Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym Sister Toldjah and is a regular contributor to RedState and Legal Insurrection.