While not mentioning President Trump by name, Biden's remarks at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. -- where he was accepting the Patriot Award for political courage and leadership from the Bipartistan Policy Center -- were a thinly veiled reference to the new president's comments and the current state of politics.
Biden aid he was "saddened" to feel compelled to defend the free press while standing at the Newseum, a museum dedicated to the press and the First Amendment.
"To question the actual legitimacy of a free press is one of the most dangerous things out there. The degree that we depart and denigrate our institutions and the fourth estate, I think we really, honest to god, honest to god, weaken our ability for self-government," said Biden. "We undermine it and become weaker and not stronger."
The former vice president said that while he has certainly been on the bad end of press coverage, unencumbered journalism was nonetheless indispensable to democracy.
"I have taken my fair share of hits from the press, being covered by the very best and some of the worst. Some of you press guys are lousy just like some senators are lousy, doctors are lousy, lawyers are lousy. But it doesn't matter," he said. "We should never challenge the basic truth that an independent and free press is the fundamental element in functions of our democracy."