A report filed yesterday on a very popular left wing website stated that President Joe Biden's White House wanted difficult questions before the press briefings.
It's unclear if that was so White House press secretary Jen Psaki could prepare an answer in advance, or if they could avoid the questions entirely. However, considering the amount of "circle backs" that Psaki does, one might speculate that the White House did not get those questions in advance, otherwise Psaki might have an answer for them.
The report was filed on the Daily Beast and here's what Maxwell Tani stated in regards to the White House wanting questions in advance:
If you’re a reporter with a tough question for the White House press secretary, Joe Biden’s staff wouldn’t mind knowing about it in advance.
According to three sources with knowledge of the matter, as well as written communications reviewed by The Daily Beast, the new president’s communications 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.
The requests prompted concerns among the White House press corps, whose members, like many reporters, are sensitive to the perception that they are coordinating with political communications staffers.
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I think it would be fine to know some questions in advance, so that she's prepared and not circling back as much. But that doesn't seem to be the case with the amount of unanswered questions reporters are left with.
One reporter raised the issue during an informal White House Correspondents Association Zoom call last Friday. 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.
“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.
BOOM! There it is. The press literally cannot report honestly with current questions that flow with the room. If Psaki or someone in the White House wants to pick and choose the questions, then tell the reporters to email them and stay home. There's no point in having an open and honest discussion if it's basically scripted. Why bother showing up if you know your question won't be answered anyway. It's a completely dishonest way to hold a briefing, in my opinion. It's an insult to the press.
Psaki and her colleagues should prepare ahead of time for any and all questions that might be asked.
Even if they collect some of the more difficult questions from reporters, Psaki should be calling on reporters randomly who are permitted to ask any question they wish.
It's a reporter's job to report honestly, not waste their time with scripted answers to questions that are hand selected by the White House press secretary or another member of Biden's administration.
What's the point of a presser if the questions are somehow selected ahead of time?
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