Outgoing President Trump has left the building, and there’s a lot of hard work ahead for the Biden Administration. We’re all aware of the current mess, and there will be a lot of digging out to be done, but there’s apparently a fabricated controversy already brewing because some people are throwing shade on Joe Biden’s love of the Peloton bike. That’s his preferred mode of exercise (and it’s pandemic friendly to boot), as he recently revealed on his podcast as quoted by The Independent:
“I try to get out of bed by eight o’clock in the morning and I have a gym in my house upstairs. I have a treadmill and a Peloton bike and some weights. And I try to work out every morning for me. That sort of gets me going.”
This shouldn’t be controversial, right? Sure, the Peloton is pricier than, say, a Schwinn, but it hooks up to exercises classes and does all of the metrics and can easily save gym membership money over time. Also, it’s a heck of a lot safer than going to a spin class, which some people are still doing. Yes, there may be potential cybersecurity concerns, as pointed out by Popular Mechanics (because there’s a camera and mic attached to the bike), and no one wants POTUS to get hacked, but c’mon, we’re coming off a president who couldn’t bother to pick a non-obvious password for his Twitter account.
There’s something at work here that’s less of a good look. For some strange reason, Joe’s Peloton has been twisted into a faux-controversy that’s silly but, yeah, not wonderful. Witness this tweet from New York Times writer Sheryl Gay Stolberg, who tweeted a link to her article on the subject, describing the piece as “one about ‘Joe from Scranton’ and his fancy exercise bike.”
After a year of Covid deaths, racial unrest, a crushing recession and a right-wing mob attacking my favorite building in America, it’s nice to write a fun story. Here’s one about “Joe from Scranton” and his fancy exercise bike. https://t.co/2uLd1NXewJ
— Sheryl Gay Stolberg (@SherylNYT) January 19, 2021
The implication in that tweet, and in the one line of the article (“But Peloton does not exactly comport with Mr. Biden’s ‘regular guy from Scranton’ political persona”) is that Biden’s working-class roots don’t jive with a “fancy” piece of exercise equipment. Stolberg references the admittedly not-good Peloton ad in a seemingly out-of-context way while possibly attempting to whip up some social-class scandal, and it’s just not flying on Twitter. People aren’t here for anyone suggesting (even in a lighthearted way) that someone from Scranton shouldn’t have a Peloton.
Sheryl from NYC doesn’t think people in Scranton can exercise apparently pic.twitter.com/xZMlFqZbGm
— clelia (@cleliaddgo) January 19, 2021
Just trolling us pic.twitter.com/m14ZbIOHg2
— David Nir (@DavidNir) January 19, 2021
Might be born in Scranton, but has spent 65 years in Wilmington..and he can own any damn bike he wants
— Delaware Storm (@PSUStorm) January 19, 2021
I see this is getting appropriately and quickly ratioed.
Pretending hot garbage like this is “fun” while we’re facing multiple existential crises is on brand for the NYT.
The press’ failures were a big reason why GOP misgoverned using minority rule.
— WeatherDem (@WeatherDem) January 20, 2021
Your “lighthearted” amusement is singularly inappropriate while the Inauguration takes place with our nation’s capital garrisoned with more troops than at Lincoln’s 2d inaugural in the Civil War because the outgoing President tried to overthrow the Government. Shape up.
— Henry Tanguy (@HenryTanguy) January 19, 2021
Don’t do this stuff. It makes me want to unsubscribe. Having a peloton is not like a private jet. Or a golf course. People who aren’t forced to think otherwise can see the difference.
— Paul Rabin (@PaulRabin1) January 19, 2021
Yeah, this kinda feels like Obama’s “tan suit” controversy.
I think Biden has been seen wearing a tan suit near the peloton as well! Gasp. pic.twitter.com/Y4Ltddq84o
— Uptown NYC (@BlueNYNow) January 19, 2021
Meanwhile, The Verge reports that Michelle Obama may have done the “modified” Peloton thing in the White House, meaning that her bike didn’t have a camera or mic. The bike will be fine. Let Joe ride!