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Providence and America

Watch: Biden Grumbles About Reporters Shouting Questions at Him

Our crack social media team clipped this yesterday, and I think it warrants additional comment.  After prattling on about abortion -- an issue on which he's shifted dramatically in recent years, for flagrantly political reasons -- President Biden looked on with amusement as his handlers shooed journalists out of the room.  Some of the reporters shouted questions at Biden, who sat silently, smirking.  

Perhaps forgetting that he was on a hot mic (last time he did so while reacting to the press, he dropped an epithet against Fox's Peter Doocy), Biden turned to someone off camera and lamented that the US press corps is fairly unique in this respect:

True, it's not unusual for reporters to bark questions at a president in between an official program ending, and the press corps being ushered out of the room.  Biden himself sometimes rewards this tactic by turning and answering a shouted inquiry.  It's also true that reporters in many other countries don't engage in this sort of thing, as it doesn't comport with their journalistic norms or culture (some of which are comparatively supine).  I'm not really upset about what Biden muttered here, except to say this: He is one of the least accessible presidents in recent memory.  He'll occasionally answer a question or two, here and there, but formal press conferences and sit-down interviews -- settings that allow for sustained questioning -- are few and far between.  Biden's recent 60 Minutes interview was his first broadcast interview with an American news outlet since February, taped before last Super Bowl.  Official press conferences are strikingly rare.  All of which is to say that his disdainful eye-rolling at the yelled questions might be slightly less off-putting if he subjected himself to serious questioning more often.

I'll add that in this case, he probably knew almost no one in the room would have challenged him on the subject at hand, abortion, because most reporters are solidly in his camp, or two his left, on the issue.  Anyway, I suppose he's just decided to leave the whole 'answering questions' thing to the, er, professionals:

Ah, yes.  When gas prices were surging to very painful levels, that was beyond Biden's control.  Putin, corporate greed, etc.  But when gas prices fell in recent months, the White House was trumpeting the progress on a daily basis, with the Chief of Staff tweeting up a storm about it.  Thank you, President Biden!  Now the trajectory has been heading in the wrong direction again, and it's back to being very nuanced, you see -- and certainly beyond his control, you must understand.  Most people see right through this feeble spin, but man, Biden and Jean-Pierre are quite the team.  Finally, has anyone followed up on this?

I'm rooting for another double-down.  You know, my pappy used to tell me -- not a joke -- 'Joey, we're proud Puerto Rican LatinX's in this family, don't you forget it!'  



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