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Though as a general rule the reporters in the White House press corps have been dutifully compliant and deferential to Democratic presidents over the years, the severely limited access they were given to President Joe Biden in 2021 in comparison to similar timeframes in past presidencies was an immense source of frustration for many of them, including even some of the Democrat apologists at CNN.
It (still) happens so often that sometimes the annoyed journalists take to the Twitter machine to call them out over it, and from time to time they confront press secretary Jen Psaki directly during press briefings over the matter. More rarely, we see stray articles here and there from national media outlets that choose to air their grievances in the most public way possible.
Psaki’s standard response for the last year or so has been to say that Biden “takes questions from reporters every day” when he’s walking the halls of the White House or whenever he trots along the White House grounds in going to or coming back from a scheduled event.
This is not the same thing at all as holding formal solo pressers where reporters get the chance to do more than just shout out a question and hope he hears it over the loud whirring sound of Marine One’s propellers or frantic handlers who are upstaging Biden by herding the press away like cattle and urging Biden to quickly step away and exit stage left from the podium after the speeches he gives.
Jen Psaki knows this, of course, which is precisely why these things are staged in such a way as to contain the damage that inevitably comes when Joe Biden opens his mouth in response to a reporter’s question. In extreme examples, the Hideout Plan is activated to keep him away from the media altogether.
During a recent interview with CNN+’s Chris Wallace, the former longtime Fox News anchor who may soon be out of a job actually engaged in a rare act of journalism by not letting Psaki slide as she gave her “answer” to the question of why Biden “is so sheltered from the press.”
“I’m gonna come back at you on that,” Wallace told her in response to her “every day” dodge. “In his first year, Joe Biden held two solo news conferences in the White House and he held five on foreign trips. And take a look at this: in his first year, Mr. Biden sat down for 28 interviews with reporters. That compares to 95 in the same period of time for Donald Trump and 162 for Barack Obama. By comparison, Jen, that’s sheltered.”
It’s especially embarrassing for this White House to be seen as inferior in any way to former President Donald Trump, especially on the issue of media access. And yet the only comeback Psaki could maintain was that “Nearly every day at the White House, he takes questions from the White House press corps.”
Wallace didn’t let her off the hook, and explained the difference between a reporter having to resort to randomly shouting a question versus being able to ask them in more formal settings like group pressers or sit-down interviews where they have the opportunity to ask follow-ups.
“I’ll tell you exactly why that’s different,” Wallace schooled her. “Because when you’re standing there, you can take a question, you can answer it, you can slough it off and you move on,” he noted while adding the Biden frequently only gave partial answers before walking away. “It in no way compares to sitting down with a reporter for 20 minutes, 30 minutes, and having – you can’t move away. You can’t duck it. You gotta sit there and answer the question and the follow-up. It’s not the same thing.”
She got so flustered after Wallace kept surprisingly dropping receipts that she merely shrugged and said they’d have to agree to disagree.
Chris Wallace asked Jen Psaki why Biden has been so sheltered from the press.
Psaki got clearly offended and Wallace actually pushed back! pic.twitter.com/8QHJZPBoxS
— Kevin Tober (@KevinTober94) April 20, 2022
As you watch interviews with Psaki from here on out, keep this in mind:
Watch this and remember Jen Psaki is literally an already-hired member of the media …right now. She is about to work for NBC News and she clearly has disdain for both the institution of journalism, and the truth. https://t.co/UZSDK4yVin
— Steve Krakauer (@SteveKrak) April 21, 2022
Which obviously makes her a perfect fit for not just the position of Biden’s chief Minister of Truth but also for MSNBC. Except at MSNBC she’ll get away with making the preposterous claims about Biden’s relationship with the press that as press secretary she couldn’t.
This is likely the very reason she’s going to work there at this stage in her career because Biden’s gotten so bad at his job that his paid spinmeisters, when they aren’t dressing like Easter Bunnies and literally pushing him away from the press, are having an increasingly difficult time making excuses for him that don’t make them sound like the American versions of Baghdad Bob.
Source: This post first appeared on RedState