President Joe Biden on Saturday attacked conservative news outlets that he said used “lies told for profit and power and to stir up hatred in the United States.”

The American president, who himself has accused former president Donald Trump of casting doubt on the American media, himself did the same when he made very crude and distasteful “jokes” about Fox News.

In a speech at the annual dinner of the White House Correspondents Association, Biden referred to “the truth buried by lies”, in an apparent reference to what he believes to be conspiracy theories that his election victory in 2020 was the result of massive electoral fraud, writes Reuters.

“Lies told for profit and power … lies of conspiracy and malice repeated over and over designed to generate a cycle of anger and hatred and even violence,” Biden said, adding:

This cycle has encouraged local jurisdictions to ban books, and the rule of law and our rights and freedoms are being removed.

Biden focused on what he characterised as “an extreme press”, while joking that if he called Fox News “honest, fair and truthful”, then he could be sued for defamation.

Earlier in April, Fox Corp. settled a defamation lawsuit by Dominion Voting Systems for $787.5 million in a case that centred on the network’s claims that the results of the 2020 presidential election had been manipulated in favour of Biden.

In a jab at former President Donald Trump, Biden joked that comedian Roy Woods, who was also one of the speakers at the dinner, had offered him $10 to keep his speech short.

It’s a trade-off – a president who is offered hush money, Biden said to laughter.

On April 4, Trump was indicted on 34 counts in a case involving an alleged $130,000 payment to an adult film star during the 2016 presidential campaign.

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