President Joe Biden’s communications team asked reporters for their questions in advance before being addressed by White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki at press briefings, according to a report by The Daily Beast.
The Daily Beast referred to “three sources with knowledge of the matter, as well as written communications reviewed by The Daily Beast” who implied Biden administration officials asked this favor of reporters.
“One reporter raised the issue during an informal White House Correspondents Association Zoom call last Friday,” the outlet reported.
“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,” The Daily Beast noted.
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This apparently – and rightly – ruffled the feathers of many reporters.
“It pissed off enough reporters for people to flag it for the [WHCA] for them to deal with it,” One source told The Daily Beast.
“Those staffers had no input into this story whatsoever,” the news outlet continued.
“The reporter who wrote this story was not bound by the terms of the call’s agreement,” the Beast reported. “All of the information in this article was independently gathered, and without his colleagues’ knowledge.”
Worth noting: “Biden’s press team did not deny that staffers had solicited questions from reporters.”
This is unprecedented in modern politics. A journalist’s job is to keep politicians honest by asking them poignant and challenging questions.
Their job is not to give politicians questions in advance so they can prepare and look better than they would have otherwise.
A White House spokesperson reportedly said to The Daily Beast, “Our goal is to make the daily briefing as useful and informative as possible for both reporters and the public.”
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“Part of meeting that objective means regularly engaging with the reporters who will be in the briefing room to understand how the White House can be most helpful in getting them the information they need,” the spokesperson reportedly said.
They continued, “That two-way conversation is an important part of keeping the American people updated about how government is serving them.”
Is such a request serving “the American people?” Or the Joe Biden administration?
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