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President Joe Biden is hardly meeting the press as his administration is beset by bad news, particularly as compared to his immediate predecessors.
Even though the liberal corporate media is favorably inclined toward Biden and his party, the lack of access to what Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds often describes as “Democrat operatives with bylines” gives even more credence to the perception that the POTUS is disproportionately stage-managed by his far-left handlers.
“Reporters scored 18 media interviews with Biden by the start of the month, a small sliver of the 89 conducted by former President Donald Trump and the 141 by former President Barack Obama at the same point in their presidencies, according to data compiled by presidential historian Martha Joynt Kumar,” the Washington Examiner reported. “Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton held more, with 44 and 53, respectively, while George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan held 46.”
“Biden’s slimmed-down interview portfolio remains one area where the White House could quickly boost supply. Still, the White House has extended few interviews with the president to reporters, telling journalists earlier this year that doing so was not a priority.”
Like him or not, Trump was perhaps the most transparent president in history, constantly taking questions — impromptu or otherwise — from generally hostile reporters during, for example, COVID briefings, and on the way to the Marine One helicopter on the south lawn of the White House in addition to formal sit-downs.
Biden’s job approval rating is in a downward spiral owing to numerous unresolved crises and controversies, such as high gas prices, the surge of illegal immigration at the southern border, COVID mandates, the supply chain backlog (which White House press secretary Jen Psaki dismissively characterized as “the tragedy of the delayed treadmill“), excessive government spending leading to inflation, the disastrous U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, and rising domestic crime.
Against that backdrop, perhaps it’s not a big surprise that the 46th U.S. president seems to be steering clear of even usually compliant, cheerleading journalists in what the Examiner called a minimalist strategy similar to the presidential campaign election cycle when he spent most of the time in a Delaware mansion basement while Trump was barnstorming all over the country.
“The sparse access shows a White House fearful of the president veering from the program,” according to presidential historian Craig Shirley
“How many ways do you spell ‘scared’?,” Shirley wondered, according to what he told the Examiner. “The White House staff is as scared as a cat in a room full of rockers. I think they regard every reporter as a terrorist carrying a nuclear device. Every reporter is a potential threat…”
“The modern American presidency demands that they interact with the national media,” he added.
As Shirley may have implied, Biden is gaffe-prone when he goes off script, or even when still on script, which often necessitates his aides doing a cleanup on aisle 46, as some critics have metaphorically described it, which may also be a related reason “for his sparse outreach to the press.”
Storytime with Joe loaded with gaffes: Biden so confused in speech, there’s already a blooper reel https://t.co/QEfbXjoZVp pic.twitter.com/Cb0yYLeCB7
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) October 8, 2021
News broke this week, however, that Biden surrogates are quietly meeting with major newsrooms “to try to reshape economic coverage” in the administration’s favor. Perhaps the Biden team believes it’s the spin, and not the underlying agenda, that is causing dismal poll numbers.
This comes as anti-Trump Washington Post columnist Dana Millbank claimed in an opinion essay, without real evidence beyond some perhaps cherry-picked A.I. data, that the media is treating Biden as badly or worse than Trump.
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