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February 02, 2021

White House Reporters: Biden Press Team Demanded Their Questions In Advance

Thank goodness we got rid of that authoritarian.

If you're a reporter with a tough question for the White House press secretary, Joe Biden's staff wouldn’t mind knowing about it in advance.

According to three sources with knowledge of the matter, as well as written communications reviewed by The Daily Beast, the new president's communications staff have already on occasion probed reporters to see what questions they plan on asking new White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki when called upon during briefings.

The requests prompted concerns among the White House press corps, whose members, like many reporters, are sensitive to the perception that they are coordinating with political communications staffers.

Yeah, too late.

One reporter raised the issue during an informal White House Correspondents Association Zoom call last Friday. According to multiple sources, leaders at the meeting advised print reporters to push back against requests by the White House press team to learn of questions in advance, or simply to not respond to the Biden team's inquiries.

"While it's a relief to see briefings return, particularly with a commitment to factual information, the press can't really do its job in the briefing room if the White House is picking and choosing the questions they want," one White House correspondent said. "That's not really a free press at all."

...

Biden's press team did not deny that staffers had solicited questions from reporters. But the White House contended that it has tried to foster a better relationship with the press corps than the previous administration, and has tried to reach out to reporters directly in order to avoid appearing to dodge questions during briefings.

We're demanding your questions in advance to screen them, and, in return for your playing ball with us, we'll play ball with you.

How cosy.

These aren't press conferences. They're staged pageants.

Fake press conferences for a fake president.

Meanwhile, even with the questions in advance, Jen the Genius still has to circle back, circle back, circle back.


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posted by Ace at 04:46 PM

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