President Biden delivered a measured, yet hopeful inauguration speech at the Capitol building on Wednesday. It focused on the theme of unity which put a button on the overarching message of his campaign.
Biden delivered his speech at a building that had been plundered by right-wing extremists two weeks before and he used the setting as a symbol of national healing.
"America has been tested anew and America has risen to the challenge," Biden said. "The will of the people has been heard and has been heeded."
In the speech, Biden called for an end to "uncivil war," urging Americans to move forward from the fractious Trump years. He also pushed for a return to a politics of mutual understanding and the rejection of misinformation.
In first speech as President, Joe Biden calls for America to "end this uncivil war" #InaugurationDay… https://t.co/6IRMKlGiVA— TIME (@TIME) 1611172630.0
"Politics doesn't have to be a raging fire destroying everything in its path," Biden said. "Every disagreement doesn't have to be a cause for total war. We must reject the culture where facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured. My fellow Americans, we have to be different than this. America has to be better than this."
Biden doesn't have the grandiose rhetorical flair of his predecessors such as Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, or Ronald Reagan, but he rose to the challenge, delivering a message of unity with his own brand of frank humility.
The speech resonated with Fox News anchor Chris Wallace who called it the "best inaugural address I ever heard." It was high praise coming from a network that served as a mouthpiece for the Trump administration.
Although Wallace has consistently one of the most independent personalities on the network.
"I thought it was a great speech," Wallace said following Biden's inauguration ceremony.
I flipped over to Fox News only to hear Chris Wallace said this was the “best Inaugural Address” he’s ever heard. I… https://t.co/VsyANxMKJf— Aaron J. Carpenter🇺🇸 (@Aaron J. Carpenter🇺🇸) 1611164023.0
He believed that the speech was bolstered by the emotion that we are all still feeling after the Capitol riots.
"There was a mob of thugs, of insurrectionists, of domestic terrorists on the inaugural stand," the Fox News host said. "And Joe Biden was saying that democracy prevailed. We were able to get through that, and he was talking about how we need to get through that in the future if we are going to be a united country."
Wallace liked the positive apparel of the speech.
"It was a call to our better angels, a call saying look, we've got tremendous challenges, COVID, the economy, racial injustice, climate change but there's nothing we can't do if we come together," he said.
Fox News’ Chris Wallace: “I think this was the best Inaugural speech I’ve ever heard”. https://t.co/Jdb1XAiRi8— Tyson Whelan (@Tyson Whelan) 1611164438.0
Wallace was careful to note that it was just a speech and that Biden has a long way to go before these words become action.
"This is the easy part as has been suggested," Wallace said. "Now, he's gotta turn words, rhetoric into reality and action, but I thought it was a great start."
The veteran anchor also mentioned that the speech called for greater honesty in the media and had no problem saying it was a message his colleagues at Fox should listen up.
Fox News’s Chris Wallace acknowledges what Biden said about embracing truth. “It was a call to all of us .. in TV,… https://t.co/37fLr4wIU9— Sara Fischer (@Sara Fischer) 1611164124.0
"It was a call to all of us ... in TV, broadcast to social media... an understanding that we have to hear from facts and from the truth," Wallace said.
Today, America entered a new era and Fox has as well. Now it will pivot to playing opposition against the Biden administration, but let's hope that it has learned a lesson or two from the Trump era. Criticism is the lifeblood of democracy, but if you want people to believe you, you better tell the truth.
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