White House press gets blowback for ignoring major issues in Biden's first press
Although Joe Biden has been speaking to members of the media during his two months in the White House, he didn't hold his first formal press conference as president until Thursday. Biden, during the conference, discussed subjects including the legislative filibuster, voting rights, his re-election plans, foreign policy toward China and North Korea, and migrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border.
But White House reporters are receiving some criticism for the important things that they didn't ask Biden about.
The Washington Post's Karen Attiah listed some of the issues that White House reporters either ignored or downplayed:
No major questions on Covid. Not too much on guns. Nothing on rising anti-Asian racism. Nothing on people in… https://t.co/UZX3W5E43K— Karen Attiah (@Karen Attiah) 1616697086.0
During the press conference, Biden discussed his ambitious timetable for COVID-19 vaccinations — saying that his new goal is to get 200 million vaccination shots distributed within his first 100 days in office:
President Biden said that his administration was on pace to achieve two key goals by March 25: 100 million shots of… https://t.co/KrjfNVoD5l— The New York Times (@The New York Times) 1615847049.0
But reporters attending the press conference didn't follow up on that announcement. Nor did they ask about his goals on re-opening schools, which Biden announced his administration has made significant progress toward.
The Washington Post's Lena H. Sun and the New York Times' Maggie Haberman tweeted that the COVID-19 pandemic should have been a priority for White House reporters:
First Biden news conference: Not a single question about the pandemic.— LenaSun (@LenaSun) 1616697034.0
While the administration's vaccine rollout has been relatively impressive, it's not without flaws or shortfalls, and reporters could have pressed the president on that topic. They could have asked about what plans the U.S. has in the effort to get the whole world vaccinated against the virus to really put an end to the global pandemic. But they didn't.
There’s a reason to express concern about a president not doing press conferences, but no question on covid or spec… https://t.co/prYf5UyyUc— Maggie Haberman (@Maggie Haberman) 1616697218.0
Journalist David Boardman complained:
@maggieNYT But we heard inane questions about his 2024 running mate and opponent.— David Boardman (@David Boardman) 1616697248.0
Indeed, Biden did make some significant news by saying he "expects" to run in 2024. But CNN's Kaitlan Collins bizarrely asked if Biden planned to keep Vice President Kamala Harris on the ticket, as if Biden would announce it if he planned to kick her off, and as if anything in the past two months would have given him any reason to part ways with her. Biden says he expects Harris will be his running mate in 2024.
Here are some other observations from Twitter users on things that White House reporters didn't ask Biden about:
@maggieNYT @oliverdarcy No questions on Iran and the Middle East either.— Mark Jacobs (@Mark Jacobs) 1616697444.0
@KarenAttiah Not a single question on climate change.— Todd A. Price (@Todd A. Price) 1616697266.0
@KarenAttiah I feel like WH reporters are obsessed with questioning POTUS about Republican talking points instead o… https://t.co/lci2AlEhG9— elViajero 🇺🇸🇨🇴 (@elViajero 🇺🇸🇨🇴) 1616697389.0
@bylenasun @WHCOS The media amplified the crap we hear on FOX- so disappointing, but Biden did a great job. What ab… https://t.co/XzSq0fzd6Z— JBlanchard (@JBlanchard) 1616697440.0
@KarenAttiah You'd think since they've been whining about this for a frigging month, they'd have better questions t… https://t.co/ucvQxn04Hu— Annie🐝 🏳️🌈 🇮🇪🥀⚖️ (@Annie🐝 🏳️🌈 🇮🇪🥀⚖️) 1616697190.0
@KarenAttiah @AshleyMason739 And nothing on the debacle of social security officials holding up stimulus payments for seniors & disabled. 🙄— Shirley's Galaxy of Cats 🐱🐾🐱 (@Shirley's Galaxy of Cats 🐱🐾🐱) 1616699902.0
@maggieNYT To me the Covid questions are answering themselves. 200 million vaccines in 100 days is a great answer😷— Vote Blue 🇺🇸🇺🇸 (@Vote Blue 🇺🇸🇺🇸) 1616697487.0
@maggieNYT Thank you. This was close to dereliction of duty. Those questioners are our proxies, and I care more abo… https://t.co/6ubVBQLc80— Dr. Jonathan Earle (@Dr. Jonathan Earle) 1616697490.0
@maggieNYT For all the pearl clutching about a presser, the multiple duplicate questions about the same topic was l… https://t.co/MPoXfyHEyi— BrothersBrimStudios (@BrothersBrimStudios) 1616697963.0
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