Joe Biden’s White House Wants Questions from Reporters IN ADVANCE


Joe Biden’s Communications team has repeatedly asked reporters to inform them of their questions ahead of pressroom briefings. 

As reported by The Daily Beast, Biden’s “staff have already on occasion probed reporters to see what questions they plan on asking new White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki when called upon during briefings” – less than two weeks into the former veep’s term.

The “requests prompted concerns” among the White House press corps, causing several reporters to flag them on a White House Correspondents Association Zoom call on January 29th.

“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 summarized.
Other sources were quoted as slamming the requests as inhibiting the press from “doing its job” and operating “freely” in the Biden administration:
“While it’s a relief to see briefings return, particularly with a commitment to factual information, the press can’t really do its job in the briefing room if the White House is picking and choosing the questions they want,” one White House correspondent said. “That’s not really a free press at all.”
“It pissed off enough reporters for people to flag it for the [WHCA] for them to deal with it,” another knowledgeable source said.
What’s more, “Biden’s press team did not deny that staffers had solicited questions from reporters.” It excused its efforts to contact reporters before briefings as part of its strategy to “avoid appearing to dodge questions during briefings.”
“Our goal is to make the daily briefing as useful and informative as possible for both reporters and the public. 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. That two-way conversation is an important part of keeping the American people updated about how government is serving them,” a White House spokesperson said.

Natalie Winters

Natalie Winters is freelance reporter.

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