Friday, March 26, 2021

So Predictable

Reporters spent a month complaining about Biden not having a press conference. It's reasonable that Biden has them sometimes, but they aren't really important, largely because the press corps behaved as every critic expected they would.
Afterward, the weirdness was acknowledged. MSNBC’s Chris Hayes called it “nuts” that the press didn’t ask about COVID; April Ryan, theGrio’s White House correspondent, who was at the presser but not called on, noted on Twitter that there “are still major challenges with bridging the race gap with vaccinations and the impact of this pandemic on communities of color.” As a whole, media watchers gave the press conference overwhelmingly negative reviews. “Questions should be designed to elicit from the president responses that permit the public to inform itself,” NYU’s Jay Rosen argued, “but many of those who rise at these events ask questions designed so that the president’s responses will make news.” Dan Froomkin, the journalism critic, said that the presser created the impression that as “Biden is trying to solve problems, the press corps is trying to create them,” and observed that, in the case of the border, Biden now “has to fact-check the media,” after four years of the opposite. Kendra Pierre-Louis, a journalist who covers the climate crisis (which also failed to come up in any detail), had perhaps the most succinct take: “It was a shit press conference and the reporters are why.”