Biden Admin Shows UK Has More Press Freedom Than US
The Biden boycott of press questions is unprecedented.
Under Obama, there were teleprompters and careful control, but under Biden, the administration is open about rejecting press access. And the contrast with the leaders of other western countries is striking. As are the extremes to which Biden's people are going to insulate him.
Press secretary Jen Psaki tried to explain away President Biden’s refusal to take questions from reporters during his Tuesday sitdown with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson by claiming that the UK leader had blindsided White House aides by calling on two British reporters.
“I think our relationship with the United Kingdom and with Prime Minister Johnson is so strong and abiding, we will be able to move forward beyond this,” Psaki said Wednesday, “but he [Johnson] called on individuals from his press corps without alerting us to that intention in advance.”
Maybe because Johnson finds it normal for reporters to ask questions? And for leaders to be expected to answer them.
Psaki admits that these events are built to suppress press access.
After Johnson and Biden answered queries from Harry Cole of the Sun newspaper and Beth Rigby of Sky News, White House press aides known as “wranglers” began shouting and herding reporters outside the Oval Office, where the meeting was taking place.
This is the way Russian and Chinese leaders would behave.
American presidents would show their willingness to take questions while totalitarian dictators would suppress the press. So what does that make Biden?
CBS White House correspondent Ed O’Keefe, whose question to Biden about the ongoing migration crisis at the southern border received a half-heard answer from the president amid the chaos, asked Psaki Wednesday for her “understanding” of what had transpired.
“The British Prime Minister, in the American Oval Office, called on British reporters and then, when American reporters tried to call on the American President, we were escorted out,” O’Keefe complained...
“But in this month of September, most of the occasions we’ve had have been fleeting,” Portnoy pressed. “In fact, there are some occasions where he’s only taken one question and walked away, and most of those occasions have occurred outside of this building. So, when can we expect to have an opportunity to actually ask the president questions in a formal setting?”
Considering the revelation about the "wall" in Woodward's book, probably not anytime soon.
"Peril," a new book by Bob Woodward and Washington Post reporter Robert Costa, claims that Biden's aides intentionally kept the president away from "unscripted events or long interviews," according to a Fox News report. These aides included chief of staff Ron Klain and adviser Anita Dunn.
"They called the effect 'the wall,' a cocooning of the president," the book says, describing the effort to counter Biden's "tendency to at times be testy or mangle statements," according to Fox News.