The transparency that Joe Biden boasts about has become increasingly murky. The White House's difficult relationship with the critical press continues to escalate, going so far as the White House banning the New York Post from the president's latest events with no explanation. In addition, Biden has not appeared at any solo press conference in 2023, reports The Washington Post. The WaPo report criticizes the fact that the president's media appearances are limited to appearances with other people and to personal interviews in carefully selected media.
— New York Post (@nypost) May 8, 2023
The White House "selects journalists"
The New York Post was the first source to publish the information from Hunter Biden's controversial laptop during the 2020 presidential campaign. This information was censored by social networks under pressure from the FBI. The newspaper's Washington correspondent Steven Nelson denounced the censorship that the White House communications team has been applying on the press, only carefully selecting who they let in.
For past presidents, all WH press attended large indoor events. For @JoeBiden, aides pick reporters let in@WHCA has challenged this censorship and journalists from ~2/3 of briefing seats signed protest letter last June
Yet it remains, with little outcry https://t.co/uHOdBVYAjo
— Steven Nelson (@stevennelson10) May 8, 2023
Complaints from the White House Correspondents' Association
The White House Correspondents' Association also denounced these practices. About two-thirds of accredited reporters signed a letter of protest last June. Nevertheless, this selective censorship continued, but the WHCA's complaints have more or less subsided.
— Steven Nelson (@stevennelson10) May 8, 2023
Nelson also shared the official email informing him that he could not access Biden and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg's event to discuss airline liabilities. The correspondent recalled that when Donald Trump's Press Secretary Sean Spicer excluded critical media such as The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Politico and CNN from a briefing, there was talk of "information warfare," while now the exclusion of the "4th-largest US news outlet" as Nelson calls it, is being hushed up.
Biden's communication policy "not acceptable" to The Washington Post
However, criticism of White House information policy is not limited to conservative or critical media. In an editorial article, The Washington Post charged harshly against the disappearance of the president's solo press conferences, calling this "not acceptable." The first line leaves no doubt about the tone of the text: "President Biden hasn't dropped the microphone; he appears to have lost it. Mr. Biden is turning into a news media evader, and it’s harmful to his presidency and the nation."
The media's editorial board recalls that only Nixon and Reagan submitted to questions from journalists from all media as rarely as Biden. The data is compelling. In the five months so far in 2023, the president has not once appeared alone before the press. He has only done so accompanied by other people, such as the secretary of transportation last Monday, or with the president of Canada or other personalities. In these cases, moreover, "presidents also typically interact informally with the media, answering a few questions on the way to an event." However, Biden "does not engage in many such exchanges either, according to the American Presidency Project's tracker."
The White House denies these allegations
White House Communications Director Ben LaBolt sought to deny the allegations, asserting that Biden "has participated in more than 400 question and answer sessions with press since taking office and did an extensive interview on Friday on a variety of topics." However, the response from Andrew Feinberg, a correspondent for The Independent was blunt: "You know as well as I do that it wasn't the same thing as a press conference, and neither are pool sprays in which he reacts to a shouted question while staffers shriek at the pool to drown out those questions." This only adds fuel to the fire started when the president was caught with a sheet of paper on which he had a pre-written question from a Los Angeles Times reporter.
Hi, Ben. I watched the pre-taped sit-down with @SRuhle on Friday. And you know as well as I do that it wasn’t the same thing as a press conference, and neither are pool sprays in which he reacts to a shouted question while staffers shriek at the pool to drown out those questions.
— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) May 7, 2023
Biden's disdain for the press at correspondents' dinner
The president's disdain for the press was palpable during the White House Correspondents' Dinner. Biden not only joked about Tucker Carlson's departure from Fox, he boasted about not taking questions from the media, "In a lot of ways, this dinner sums up my first two years in office. I’ll talk for 10 minutes, take zero questions and cheerfully walk away."
“We’ve had so many victories…’vaccinated’ the Nation…and achieved great things…and we got the job done…and it’s finished for Tucker Carlson…” -Joe Biden pic.twitter.com/PfRZrqcSnA
— Liz Churchill (@liz_churchill9) April 30, 2023