In a rare display of journalism, The Associated Press published a piece by author Aamer Madhani that skewered President Joe Biden for constantly avoiding the media. While some members of the activist media have given milquetoast criticism of 46 for his lack of transparency – especially when it concerns the migrant crisis – this might be the first time a journalist has issued a scathing indictment of the president for his refusal to make himself available to the Fourth Estate.
Biden Gets Dragged
In his piece, Madhani raked Biden over the proverbial coals for his apparent allergy to the media. “As Biden wraps up his first year in the White House, he has held fewer news conferences than any of his five immediate predecessors at the same point in their presidencies, and has participated in fewer media interviews than any of his recent predecessors,” he wrote.
The writer noted that, despite Biden’s promise to lead the most transparent administration in history, he has failed to even match his antecedents when it comes to explaining his vision and laying out his agenda. Madhani wrote:
“Biden has done just 22 media interviews, fewer than any of his six most recent White House predecessors at the same point in their presidencies.
“The 46th president has held just nine formal news conferences — six solo and three jointly with visiting foreign leaders. Ronald Reagan, whose schedule was scaled back early in his first term in 1981 after an assassination attempt, is the only recent president to hold fewer first-year news conferences, according to Kumar. Reagan did 59 interviews in 1981.”
By way of contrast, the author pointed out that former President Donald Trump “did 92 interviews in his first year in office,” and that he “held lengthy sessions with ABC News, The Associated Press, the New York Times, Reuters and other outlets whose coverage he impugned throughout his presidency.”
“Biden’s 22 media interviews have included one-on-one sessions with journalists at three of the major television networks, three CNN town halls, an appearance on MSNBC, a trio of regional television interviews via Zoom, as well as conversations with late night host Jimmy Fallon and ESPN’S Sage Steele. He’s given just three print interviews.”
Various media outlets and the White House Correspondents’ Association have lodged complaints against the president for his apparent aversion to answering questions from the media. As expected, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki pushed back, claiming the president answers queries several times throughout the week. However, Madhani pointed out that these interactions “often don’t allow for follow-up questions, and Biden can ignore questions he might not want to answer.”
Steven Portnoy, president of the White House Correspondents’ Association and a media activist with CBS News Radio, complained that members of the press have been unable to adequately get information from the president on his plans for the country.
“Fleeting exchanges are insufficient to building the historical record of the president’s views on a broad array of public concerns. We have had scant opportunities in this first year to learn the president’s views on a broad range of public concerns,” he insisted. “The more formal the exchange with the press, the more the public is apt to learn about what’s on the man’s mind.”
What’s Biden Afraid Of?
Biden’s unwillingness to deal with the press isn’t surprising given what the nation has seen from his administration during its first year in office. The fact of the matter is that his administration has been a complete and utter disaster. If the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown were a presidency, it might resemble that of President Joseph Robinette Biden.
This administration has managed to bungle nearly every crisis it has faced. From the catastrophic Afghanistan withdrawal to the seemingly never-ending surge of migrants swarming the southern border, many believe the president and his team have shown they are not up to the task of running the country. Moreover, the list of accomplishments is short.
In light of this, one might understand why Uncle Joe doesn’t want to have in-depth conversations with members of the media. His administration has fouled things up so thoroughly that not even activist journalists, who have become quite accustomed to the taste of Biden’s shoe leather, can sufficiently spin his performance into something resembling competence.
Of course, one cannot forget about the president’s apparent cognitive issues, which tend to be on display whenever he has a prolonged exchange with the press. If gaffes were an industry, Biden’s stock would rival that of Apple or Tesla. At this point, it seems likely that more exposure would have an adverse impact on his presidency, so his best choice is to play an ongoing game of hide-and-seek with the media. The question is: How long will he be able to get away with it?
~ Read more from Jeff Charles.