General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
From the moment he announced his presidential bid more than six years ago, the establishment media presented former President Donald Trump as an authoritarian. Yet it is President Joe Biden who has done more to expand the power and scope of the administrative state, despite only having been in office for less than a year.
Just days before Trump took office, CNN opinion contributor Ruth Ben-Ghiat described the former president as a “strongman” and argued his presidency would be a reflection of “authoritarian regimes throughout history.” Establishment media outlets similarly characterized Trump’s policies, including his travel ban on people from several Muslim-majority countries and his famous border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, as authoritarian. Trump’s rhetoric, especially toward the very same media that criticized him, only fueled their portrayal of him as a boogieman for authoritarianism. By the 2020 election, the press had reached a fever pitch.