America is not rotten, the people who run it are rotten. That’s why things are so volatile. What you’re looking at is a crisis of our institutions, all of which are corrupt and some of which are collapsing.

However, not all of our institutions are the same. Some of them are bad, some of them are awful. But looming above the rest is our most corrupt institution: The mainstream news media.

How corrupt is the mainstream media? Imagine a drunken border guard at the crossing between Togo and Burkina Faso shaking you down at midnight as you pass through. The New York Times is much more corrupt than that. The media are more crooked than Jimmy Hoffa ever was. They’re more dishonest than your average bribe-taking building inspector in Queens and more treacherous than the Mafia. They make cops in Tijuana look trustworthy. You’ll get fairer treatment from an inner-city DMV than you would from CNN. Ask Nick Sandmann.

Watching the news on television makes you question the system itself. In what version of “meritocracy” does someone like Chuck Todd get rich and famous? Dumb and conventional now pass as impressive. It’s insulting.

However, let’s look at this in a different way. Yes, the news media are profoundly dishonest. All of us lie from time to time, that’s the human condition. Imagine, though, if lying was your job. Imagine forcing yourself to tell lies all day about every subject in ways that were so transparent and so outlandish that there is no way the people listening to you could possibly believe anything you said. Then imagine doing that again and again and again every day of your professional life for your entire life. Could you do that? If you could, CNN has an opening on the media analysis desk.

If you’re a normal, non-socipathic person, the answer obviously is no. So you’ve got to kind of respect the people who can. They’re like Olympians in reverse. They achieve feats so dishonorable that you gasp in horror as you watch them, but at the same time, you’ve got to respect those skills.

Just to take one example, as the inauguration neared last month, and the Biden family made its victorious procession into the capital city, CNN rousted its poet laureate from lunch and led him to the set to commemorate this moment. Here’s the sonnet he wrote for the occasion:

DAVID CHALIAN: Those lights that are just shooting out from the Lincoln Memorial along the Reflecting Pool … it’s like almost extensions of Joe Biden’s arms embracing America.

Not everyone is as poetic is David Chalian. That’s why he’s CNN’s political director. An ordinary journalist might not even have noticed that Joe Biden’s arms are like twin beams of light shooting forth from the Reflecting Pool, embracing America as a mother embraces a child. No, an ordinary journalists might simply have described Joe Biden’s arms as toned and tawny and redolent of musk and saddle leather. Not everyone is David Chalian, but not everyone needs to be.

The thing about journalism is it’s not an individual achievement. It’s the collective spirit that matters, as with synchronized swimmers or certain species of insects. Journalists move together in concert — as a herd, if you will. When Joe Biden writes a talking point, they repeat it. Not just a few of them, but all of them in precisely the same way. Think of reporters as the North Korean gymnastics team celebrating Kim Il Sung Day in a soccer stadium in Pyongyang. They move as one.

To hear the mainstream media tell it, Joe Biden is like America’s dad. A little blunt sometimes, but honest. A straight shooter, solid, reliable, steady. That’s Joe Biden. Above all, Joe Biden is a family man who took the train back to Wilmington every night to the 10,000-square-foot estate a campaign donor bought for him in exchange for unregistered lobbying on behalf of credit card companies. But he’s not like the last guy.

Joe Biden’s family’s refreshingly normal. There aren’t any weird sex scandals or protracted drug problems or ongoing criminal investigations you’ve got to worry about. Want to know what the Bidens are doing this weekend? A recent headline in Newsweek will tell you, “Joe Biden Wins in Mario Kart Race Against Granddaughter at Camp David.” Wholesome stuff like that, not secretly lobbying for China or impregnating strippers from Arkansas. No, they’re playing Mario Kart with the grandkids, just like you.

At the heart of this great American family is a love story; a man and a woman united in the fires of passion that changed the course of our history. Not since Mark  Anthony dined with Cleopatra in downtown Antioch before they killed themselves has a country witnessed a love story as moving and poignant as Jill and Joe’s.

As a headline from Politico on Valentine’s Day put it: “Historians and relationship experts agree: The first couple’s romantic gestures aren’t just genuine — they’re restorative”

So it’s official: The Bidens affection is totally real and in no way part of a slick PR campaign devised by cynical consultants determined to hide the president’s senility by misdirection. Their love is as real as climate change. The Politico story begins this way: “On a mission to rebuild institutional norms and help heal a hurting nation. Joe and Jill Biden are trying something novel after four years of the Trumps: a little tenderness.”

That’s right, America, the Bidens’ love is like medicine. It’s more powerful than the COVID vaccine, and you only need one injection.

Below, MSNBC’s Dr. Joy Reid prescribes a whole lot more of it:

JOY REID, JAN. 20: What a story, though, what a great love story between Jill Biden and Joe Biden …  And it’s just a different kind of marriage. This is a love match like the Obamas were. So I think that’ll be healing for the country, too.

Yeah, it will be. The Bidens’ love will be healing for this country. It will make us whole again. It might even stop looming hyperinflation and keep the Chinese navy from closing the South China Sea to international shipping. That’s the kind of love it is.

This article is adapted from Tucker Carlson’s opening commentary on the Feb. 16, 2021 edition of “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”