President Biden once again was given a pre-selected list of ten reporters to call on Wednesday during a post-midterm election press conference, admonishing them to ask one question while his handlers nervously waited in the wings.
(Video Credit: Fox News)
No “red wave” materialized for the Republicans in the midterm elections and Biden took the opportunity to crow over it. The GOP is widely expected to squeak out control of the House, but the Senate is still up in the air.
“Now, I’ve been given a list of 10 people that I’m supposed to call on and you’re all supposed to ask me one question, but I’m sure you’ll ask me more. And so let me start off with a list I’ve been given. Zeke Miller, Associated Press,” Biden began from the podium in his first press conference since January.
Among the reporters deemed worthy to ask a question of the president were The Associated Press, CBS News, CNN, Reuters, ABC News, Bloomberg, The Grio, NBC News, and The New York Times. However, he ended up calling on just nine reporters in a room of over 100 and notably did not call on Fox News.
Full house for Biden’s post midterm press conference. pic.twitter.com/s7HGOOERvp
— Philip Melanchthon Wegmann (@PhilipWegmann) November 9, 2022
Biden leaves without calling on Fox’s Jacqui Henrich, who was left off the list of 10 handpicked reporters provided by his handlers.
— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) November 9, 2022
A number of the questions posed had to do with Biden and how he plans to work with a GOP-controlled House. Of interest, as well, was his potential candidacy in 2024 for the presidency. There was a smattering of other topics lobbed at him too but nothing earth-shattering almost as if the whole thing were scripted.
The White House was pointedly asked by the Daily Caller why Biden was using a list of reporters.
“Eh, not sharing. I don’t have anything to share with you on that,” White House principal deputy press secretary, Olivia Dalton replied.
The Daily Caller again asked why the White House does “not want to say” what determines who is on the list.
“I don’t have anything to share with you on that,” Dalton reiterated.
Biden said he was “given a list” of reporters to call on at his second major press conference.
The handpicked reporters were from the Associated Press, CBS, CNN, Reuters, ABC Radio, TheGrio, Bloomberg, NBC News and the New York Times.
No one else got to ask a question.
— Diana Glebova (@DianaGlebova) November 10, 2022
Throughout Biden’s presidency, he has held very few press conferences in comparison to his predecessors. From the beginning, he has relied on prepared lists of reporters to call on instead of spontaneously picking reporters as has been customary for former presidents.
During the president’s very first formal press conference, he was photographed using “cheat sheets” with policy notes and what appeared to be photos of journalists. Then in August 2021, he alarmingly told reporters that he was “instructed” to call on the pre-selected reporters.
“Ladies and gentlemen, they gave me a list here. The first person I was instructed to call on was Kelly O’Donnell from NBC,” Biden stated at the time kicking off the press conference.
Well that doesn’t surprise me not one bit. Oh and by the way….those questions had already been approved to ask 🙄🙄🙄
— dejay (@dejay81172004) November 10, 2022
He did it several times overseas as well, relying on a prepared list at the 2021 Geneva summit, the 2021 G20 summit in Rome, and at a joint news presser in Israel in July of this year according to Fox News.
In May 2021, then-White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki admitted to reporters that staff had advised Biden not to take impromptu questions from the press.
“That is not something we recommend. In fact, a lot of times we say ‘don’t take questions,'” Psaki said during an interview with David Axelrod. “But he’s going to do what he wants to do because he’s the President of the United States.”
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