Joe Biden’s press strategy is troubling reporters

After Joe Biden won the 2020 election, The New York TimesPeter Baker recalls making a request to interview the 46th incoming president, when he sat down with everyone in the White House to go back Bill Clinton, and made “points that new presidents tend to talk about The The New York Times.“Their reaction? “They basically said, thank you very much, and that was it,” Baker told me. “They never had any interest in it.” While Baker, who is currently on sabbatical, admits that “the best stories never come from presidential interviews” and that “we’d be perfectly fine if we hadn’t hit them,” The Biden White House is still “raising the question by not doing these things.”

While Biden has always been expected to be less of a concern than his media-obsessed predecessor, the president’s level of interaction with the press during his first year in office has left White House reporters and grumbled Democratic allies. urge he even more forcefully sells his agenda to the American people, in the context of Weak poll and fears about the 2022 midterm roadmap. Biden has given speeches around the country on issues, like infrastructure, and said Thursday to defend democracy, but barely capture the media speakers to fight Republicans assault on voting rights and MAGA Undertake of state elections. Meanwhile, Donald Trump, who dominates the headlines and cable TV chyrons for four years, has a lot of television and Radio hit the last few weeks, trying to get themselves into the news cycle as the possibility of 2024 looms.

Biden, 79 years old, be told will plan to run for re-election in three years, and will no doubt face questions about his age and proficiency in presenting the issues facing the country. A lengthy sit-down interview can help remove such concerns — or invigorate — depending on the president’s performance. At this point, a White House reporter said, the Biden team appears to have “calculated that the risks of doing these kinds of interviews are too great or the benefits are not substantial enough.” While Trump is an exception in his peril and persistent defamation For journalists, there is often a healthy tension between the White House and the news media, with disputes over access and topographical distribution of events. “There will always be conflict here,” the reporter admitted, adding that the scarcity of presidential interviews was “which could be the biggest surprise.”

Although Biden said by phone to Times Categories David Brooks earlier this year, he still hasn’t sat down with a newspaper reporter — or a word The Washington Post, The The Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, or Reuters. By the end of November of his first term, Biden had conducted 18 interviews, compared with 89 for Trump and 141 for Trump. Barack Obama in the same time period, according to Martha Joynt Kumar, a political scientist who has extensively studied White House communications. (Both Trump and Obama interviewed reporters from those five stores during their first year in office.) Fourteen of Biden’s interviews so far have been for TV (including three of CNN’s town halls); he is appear Friday on Tonight’s Show with Jimmy Fallon, first appeared on the late-night show as president. Biden did only three interviews for print, begin with Everyone, compared to 30 for Trump and 42 for Obama. Instead of sitting on the bench longer, the president opted to engage in impromptu meetings with the press, which Biden does – as the White House is quick to point out – on a regular basis, and more often than his predecessors your. “What you get is his position; Kumar said. “Both in an interview and in a press conference, you will have to formulate policy,” says Kumar, noting that these settings are where “you really find the depth of understanding — or lack of it.” it”.

Biden did just one interview with a regional or local outlet in late November – compared with 11 for Trump and 17 for Obama during the same period. When recently confronted White House press secretary on invalidity of interviews Jen Psaki said Biden’s schedule “is already pretty tight,” but hopes “maybe add some local interviews in the next few weeks.” The last time Biden gave a lengthy national TV interview was in August with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, one-on-one focused on the US withdrawal from Afghanistan of which Biden did several inaccurate or misleading commands. Baker said that perhaps the White House is trying to avoid such mistakes from Biden, although noting that “historically he has always been his own best seller” and that “there are always trade-offs.” when you decide to cut the press.”

Biden is no stranger to media scrutiny, having been under Washington’s microscope for half a century. As a senator in the Clinton administration, he would “speak at length” and be “the last member of Congress to leave the driveway,” recalls Kumar. He maintained that attitude toward the press as vice president in the Obama White House; Baker recalls Biden “always acting perfectly happy” when answering questions — even as his boss grew up. increasingly far from the press — and will even bring the media to the residence for the annual barbecue.

Weeks after being elected president, Times Categories Ben Smith forewarned back to the “good old days of media,” when popular columnists, instead of right-wing Fox News hosts, had their eyes on the president. Such was the case with the last Democratic administration, as Obama focused on New Yorkers‘S David Remnick and The Atlantic‘S Jeffrey Goldberg and hold out of profile the meeting with columnists and editors in the Roosevelt Room. Smith noted that during the Obama years, Biden “gave special attention to the wise men of Washington,” such as TimesThomas Friedman, who told me he hasn’t sat down with the president since taking office.

“It’s fair to say, because of the pandemic, the usual kind of roundtable that you can’t do it,” Friedman said, referring to gatherings in the Obama column. “So I can’t tell you what the pandemic and the new administration are.” Either way, Friedman – who says he has “all the access I want or need, but I want little and need little” – doesn’t seem to care or “feel an iron curtain”, as he does. he said, noting that he was engaged to other members of the government. “Tony Blinken has done at least one of the group’s things and certainly achieved it — and I’m sure not just me,” he said of the secretary of state. However, besides that Friedman during the transition, and Brooks in May, the president doesn’t seem to be going deep with the columnists — or nearly anyone for that matter. Joe Biden’s press strategy is troubling reporters


Aila Slisco is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Aila Slisco joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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