Home » Biden’s Limited Press Engagements Spark Concern Among Allies

Biden’s Limited Press Engagements Spark Concern Among Allies

by Richard A Reagan

President Joe Biden’s effort to limit his media interactions has prompted criticism about his transparency and media engagement.

Over his first three years in office, Biden has participated in only 89 interviews—a stark contrast to the 300 and 422 interviews given by his immediate predecessors, Donald Trump and Barack Obama, respectively.

This significant reduction in direct media engagement has not gone unnoticed by the press, including those who have traditionally supported Biden.

Notably, following a Politico report highlighting tensions between The New York Times and the Biden administration, The Times issued a pointed statement expressing concern over the President’s avoidance of the press.

The statement underscored the critical role of a free press in a democracy, noting that Biden’s reticence “undermines an important norm” and could “establish a dangerous precedent” for future administrations to dodge journalistic scrutiny.

The Times, which endorsed Biden in the 2020 elections and has not supported a Republican presidential candidate since Dwight Eisenhower in 1956, voiced its dissatisfaction publicly.

This criticism followed Democratic backlash spurred by the Politico piece, which detailed a purported strained relationship between the newspaper and the White House—a claim some Times reporters have contested.

Adding to the chorus of concerns, former President Donald Trump, in a recent interview with Time Magazine, pointedly questioned Biden’s capability to engage in such open forums. “Do you think you could do this interview with Biden?” Trump asked, highlighting doubts about Biden’s communication abilities.

The concerns are not limited to political opponents. Instances like a noticeable gaffe during a meeting with wind energy executives in June 2022, where Biden inadvertently displayed an official White House card with overly detailed instructions, have fueled ongoing speculation about his cognitive abilities.

This incident, coupled with a peculiar moment during a trade union event where Biden, after listing his achievements, awkwardly instructed the audience to “pause,” has intensified scrutiny of his mental state.

CNN’s former host Don Lemon even broached the topic of Biden’s cognitive abilities directly with White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who dismissed the question as inappropriate, saying, “He’s the president of the United States… This is not a question that we should be even asking.”

The decline in traditional media interactions coincides with a broader shift in the White House’s communication strategy.

According to CNN, the Biden administration is increasingly bypassing mainstream media channels in favor of alternative mediums and social media influencers, aiming to reach the public more directly.

Former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki defended the strategic pivot on “The View,” explaining that the quality of interviews might outweigh their quantity in today’s diversified media setting. She noted Biden’s recent engagements, like his appearance on the “Smartless” podcast and an interview with Howard Stern, arguing that these platforms also serve significant communicative purposes.

The questions about Biden’s media strategy and its implications for presidential transparency and accountability continue to mount.

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