The Daily Beast

Team Biden’s Ruthless Press Strategy Is Bound to Backfire

Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Is the honeymoon over? In recent weeks, the media has started criticizing Joe Biden over his administration’s attempt to stage-manage every aspect of his presidency. After going more than two months without holding a press conference—“the longest a new president has gone without meeting the press in the past 100 years,” according to The Washington Post’s Paul Farhi—Biden finally scheduled one for Thursday. Meanwhile, the administration is being criticized for lack of transparency regarding the tens of thousands of immigrants crowding the Southern border—a situation the Biden administration refuses to call a “crisis.”

Headlines like “Biden’s Border Blackout” are popping up, thanks to journalists being denied access and being restricted from showing images of the situation (including photos from inside detention facilities where children are being sheltered). “I respectfully ask US Customs and Border Protection to stop blocking media access to their border operations,” tweeted Getty Images Special Correspondent John Moore on Friday. “I have photographed CBP under Bush, Obama and Trump but now—zero access is granted to [the] media.” After a year of sympathetic coverage, Team Biden is treating the press the way you treat a mushroom: keep it in the dark and feed it bullshit.

Now, I understand why they are doing this. For one thing, it worked like a charm during the campaign. The COVID-19 pandemic gave Biden the perfect excuse to run a tightly scripted campaign. Think of the Democratic National Convention, which was conducted via… Zoom. There was zero chance of a rowdy delegate uprising—which is exactly what you want when you’re the presumptive nominee. Imagine enjoying four years of that!

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