Press conference hype
Kaitlan Collins is rightly getting dragged on Twitter for asking a stunningly stupid question. She sat there and waited all that time to ask about Biden's 2024 plans. I've generally liked Collins' and found her no nonsense and to the point during the CNN phase of her career, but that performance was an embarrassment. However, it was only slightly worse than the rest of them.
It's already been pointed out that no one asked a pandemic question even though a thousand people a day are still dying. They all latched onto the border question - each of them desperate to get themselves on video being "tough" about it. It bordered on confrontational in a way none of these reporters displayed to Trump. Because they knew that Biden wouldn't mock them or insult them prompting hoards of MAGAs to threaten them on social media.
I thought Biden did a very decent job and gave a hell of a lot more details about things than the former guy.
It was a breath of fresh air watching President Biden field questions with facts, empathy, humility, and passion. It was the total antithesis of the circus under Trump that masqueraded as a press conference. The fact that not one question was asked about Covid was a testament to the gotcha games the press set out to exploit. And the result was that they failed miserably. The DC press just could not get under Joe's skin no matter how hard they tried. This is what a president is supposed to act like. It's not about him, it's about the American people, all the people. And while the Republican Party continues to stress me out with their continued attack on our democracy, the latest being Georgia's bill to suppress the vote, at least our president is protecting us as much as possible and allowing us all to sleep a bit better at night.
Reporter questions are not designed to elicit news, they are designed to create news, hence the gotcha crap that predominated yesterday's presser. Add to that George Stephanopolous' ridiculous insistence that Biden opine on whether Putin is a killer. Why ask a president who is less than 3 months into his first term if he will run for a second term? Despite its numerous complaints to the contrary in the Trump era, the WH corps showed that it is not interested in policy or substance.
WH press continues to demonstrate a knee jerk reaction of alarm, gotcha games and questioning that totally misses the mark about what is important news vs what is important to them. Their bubble needs to be burst wide open and reporters need to adapt to this new day of reporting. Biden is a pro in spite of the caricature of him that has been perpetuated forever. Surprise! He knows his stuff and is succeeding expertly and at an unimaginable pace where that other guy failed. This 70 something senior wonders if there’s been a generational change among WH reporters/editors which precludes the seriousness of questions by more experienced/been around the block reporters of yore. Sorry that my ageism is showing.
Joe fielded questions from CBS, CNN, and PBS, but ignored Fox's Peter Doocy who spent every day trying to unnerve the stoic Jen Psaki at White House daily press briefings.
Joe basically said 'Look, if you can't respect the Press Secretary, I'm not going to respect you.'
I forced myself to watch the press conference knowing it would be infuriating but I didn’t foresee just how bad reporters would be. They were ridiculous assumed the reporter who asked the dumb questions about 2024 was from a right wing outlet.
However I am feeling really hopeful about the strong negative reaction to the press conference — not to Biden’s performance but to how badly the press was. The fact that not one of them bothered to ask about COVID, the biggest problem by far facing this country and Biden’s top priority, preferring to pretend that the influx of migrants at the border is the real crisis has gotten a lot of negative attention, both on Twitter and in the media. Chris Hayes made a point of brining it up and Morning Joe echoed his complaints. Jennifer Rubin has posted this scathing article: “Biden excels at his first news conference. The media embarrass themselves.” The New Yorker’s Susan Glasser was astounded by the lack of attention to the pandemic:
“How is this even possible during a once-in-a-century public-health crisis, the combating of which was the central theme of Biden’s campaign and remains the central promise of his Presidency? It’s hard not to see it as anything other than an epic and utterly avoidable press fail.”
I can’t believe that those journalists won’t be affected by the harsh criticism coming from their peers. Maybe the years of work by media critics like Eric is finally starting to pay off. If journalists continue to hold each other accountable for playing games maybe their days of getting by with outrageous behavior will finally come to an end. We can only hope — and keep on complaining.
Toss you another one.
Washington Post article headlines, “Biden Slightly Increases Vaccination Goals”. Doubling is slightly? Even if the number goes from one to two; that’s not “slightly”. 200,000,000 from 100,000,000 is not “slightly”.
In the establishment press' defense, it's their job to shine a light on bad stuff a POTUS wants to keep hidden, to over-simplify. But that's not what happened Wednesday. It was pretty mcc Gotcha questions, a sound and fury of inane questions resulting in no insights, just a show to maybe boost audience size and revenues. Only the nation's people get hurt.
Yeah, I know, that was a pretty damn lame defense.
But what really perturbed was the focus on the situation at the border:
The press trying make it look far worse than it is because, like since Carter, the establishment DC press corps needs to crap on a Democrat POTUS as much as possible. In this case, it's Biden's crisis because after ~65 days in office, he failed to fully correct four years of policies based on his predecessor's pathological sadism which, in turn, was also made possible by years and decades of a refusal by the GOP dominated state to resolve both immigration issues as well as our awful, destructive Central American policies: Nicaragua in the 1920s, the Dominican Republic in the 1930s, Guatemala in the 1950s, etc., etc., etc.: Usually the result of installing an extractive fascist police state in order to protect American business interests. And the end result of that is much of Central America is composed of failed states from which many people try to flee.
The problem at the border, contrary to our nation's elite journalists, is not a crisis -- it's barely even the tip of the iceberg -- but an ongoing problem of neglect and criminal policies going back at last a hundred years -- none of which they have any interest in reporting; rather, they choose to cover up the truth. Like an iceberg, most of the story is well hidden.
I'm old enough to love your title: "Biden Beats The Press".
The DC Press Corpse was sure they were going to skewer Joe with their Republican talking points.
Joe smacked them down and it was glorious.
It's funny, because what is happening is exactly what almost everyone said would happen with this "big" press conference. President Biden would do just fine, seriously, the guy is an experienced politician that knows what he's doing. No matter what was said, Fox would still push the narrative that it was the worst conference in the history of press conferences, and that the press went easy on Biden. And the public would shrug it's shoulders and say, meh, we're just looking forward to the next good news from the administration.
Because there was no real "gotcha" moment, the story will be over by the weekend. Seems like right now, the story is more about some of the absurd questions, and not much on the answers.
And just shows that the purpose of this was to get Biden in a gotcha moment, not really to gather information.
I was so disgusted by the reporters yesterday. CNN seems to be trying to help Collins save some face this morning. Poppy Harlow just ran tape of Kaitlan asking about the filibuster and praised it as excellent questioning. I wish we could get reporters from outside the Beltway in that room to ask about specific topics we, the people, care about. Watching political sports while people are being shut out of vaccines if they happen to live in a blue county of a red state (Missourian here) is really upsetting.
Eric you should write a column about Scott Jennings of CNN. He spends most of his time writing as a lying scumbag trumpist. He’s also a columnist for my local newspaper, the Louisville Courier Journal so I have read him quite a bit. I have yet to find any of his columns informative, or anything other than specious propaganda. It is a personal cause of mine to point this out to everyone because he seems to be skating through as an informed source of information. That is the exact opposite of the truth.
Ashley Parker’s story in today’s Wapo is about how many times in the presser Biden referred to the other guy. That’s it. That’s the story.
Isn't it ironic that the people who do the most damage to the First Amendment are the so-called, supposed reporters who invoke it all the time to justify their incompetence, as in the case of the members of the DC political media brothel (the chief chucktodd of them all, madam), or their treason, as in the Fux Noise employees who still are considered part of the club (hi, John Roberts).
For four, long years, our failed political press made themselves the story: they were the subject of their own coverage because the narcissist-in-chief made them the subject of every wrong he committed by dithering FAKE NEWS at them. They ate it up. They tried to pretend that they had TFG on the run.
Is it really a surprise that leading up to the press conference that they were making themselves the story again? And while not asking even one question on the pandemic they showed us all again that they are only interested in the most controversial stories, not the most important.