The media is blasting the White House’s “bad form” in giving the predictable runaround to reporters over the departure of Communications Director Kate Bedingfield by running “interference for news outlets” that they allegedly give preference to.
Politico reporter Alex Thompson had the scoop and was ready to break the story on Wednesday. He just needed verification from the White House on the issue. That was not forthcoming in a timely manner.
“News: WH Comms Director Kate Bedingfield has told people she is departing in the coming weeks. Story [to come],” Thompson originally tweeted.
“I called the White House at 2:53pm to ask for comment and told them we were running it. They asked for more time to check with folks. I gave it to them. WSJ pubbed at 3:11pm with a statement from Klain,” he tweeted shortly after that, indicating that the White House gave preference to another media outlet and delayed him from running with the story.
I called the White House at 2:53pm to ask for comment and told them we were running it.
They asked for more time to check with folks.
I gave it to them.
WSJ pubbed at 3:11pm with a statement from Klain.
— Alex Thompson (@AlexThomp) July 6, 2022
“Good luck to the White House staffer who gets a 2 minute long deadline next time,” he tweeted later, extending his criticism of the White House which has a reputation for selectively manipulating which media outlets get certain stories first.
good luck to the White House staffer who gets a 2 minute long deadline next time. https://t.co/sgI8ZT4fA1
— Alex Thompson (@AlexThomp) July 6, 2022
His colleagues in the media wholeheartedly agreed with Thompson’s frustration over the issue and jumped on board, slamming the White House’s treatment concerning his request.
“This sounds so familiar!” Washington Post White House reporter Tyler Pager snarked on Twitter.
“The White House does this All. The. Time,” Politico national security reporter Alex Ward asserted.
“Bad form,” CNN White House correspondent Kate Bennett bluntly commented.
“Sounds like they need a new Comms director,” NBC News senior reporter Ben Collins quipped.
Sounds like they need a new Comms director.
— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) July 6, 2022
AJC reporter Ariel Hart tweeted, “Way to build trust.”
Way to build trust.
— Ariel Hart (@ArielWriter) July 6, 2022
“if you’re a comms person, it’s not your job to run interference for news outlets that you prefer or that you’ve given the exclusive to…” Politico White House reporter Max Tani remarked.
if you're a comms person, it's not your job to run interference for news outlets that you prefer or that you've given the exclusive to… https://t.co/2LQEu9dNwx
— Max Tani (@maxwelltani) July 6, 2022
Politico reporters Marianne LeVine and Betsy Woodruff Swan, The New York Times’s Maggie Haberman, NPR’s Scott Detrow, and The Daily Beast’s Justin Baragona all shared Thompson’s tweet. Apparently, they can relate to his situation.
Thompson went on to update his thread on the story two hours later with a comment from White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain on Bedingfield exiting stage left from the White House. Klain’s canned response was the same one given to Fox News earlier on Wednesday.
“Without Kate Bedingfield’s talent and tenacity, Donald Trump might still be in the White House, the Rescue Plan and the Infrastructure Law might still be unrealized goals, and Ketanji Brown Jackson might not be sitting on the Supreme Court,” Klain stated.
“She has played a huge role in everything the President has achieved – from his second term as Vice President, through the campaign, and since coming to the White House. Her strategic acumen, intense devotion to the President’s agenda, and fierce work on his behalf are unmatched. She will continue to remain a critical player in moving the Biden agenda forward from the outside,” he added.
Joining a growing list of former Biden West Wing staffers, Communications Director Kate Bedingfield is reportedly quitting the Biden administration later this month ahead of the November midterms and amid multiple crises. Don't blame her one bit. I'd jump the sinking ship too.
— JJ Pesavento #1776 (@rdrhwke) July 7, 2022
“From long before we launched the campaign, Kate Bedingfield was a fierce defender of the President and ensured that our message in 2020 and in the White House was consistent with his voice and principles,” White House Senior Adviser Anita Dunn noted in a statement. “Her leadership helped us tell the story about the fight Joe Biden is making for the working families of America.”
According to NBC News, there has been an almost complete turnover of senior leadership from the White House press operations. Bedingfield has been a longtime loyal aide to Biden since his campaign for the presidency.
The communications director claims she wants to spend more time with her young children and her husband, which may be true but that is also the sort of response given when you don’t want to say why you are actually jumping ship.
She is the latest departure from the White House just before the midterms where it is widely expected Democrats will be thoroughly trounced by Republicans due to President Biden’s catastrophic policies.
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