Democrat President Joe Biden received a lot of criticism after his first formal press conference, which occurred a record 64 days after inauguration, for his use of notes and a photo that showed Biden seemingly pre-selected reporters to call on.
Fox News host and registered Democrat Chris Wallace criticized Biden’s use of notes to answer “every foreign policy question.”
“I was also struck by the fact that it seemed on every foreign policy question, not the others, but on foreign policy,” Wallace said. “He went to his briefing book like Jen Psaki does sometimes in the briefings, and was reading obviously White House guidance, White House talking points.”
“Covering Ronald Reagan for six years, I never saw that,” Wallace continued. “Watching a lot of news conferences over the years, I’ve never seen that — a president in a news conference reading talking points. He did that on, it seemed, every foreign policy question.”
Fox News’ Chris Wallace: "I was also struck by the fact that it seemed on every foreign policy question… [Joe Biden] went to his briefing book… and was reading obviously White House guidance, White House talking points. Covering Ronald Reagan for 6 years, I never saw that." pic.twitter.com/nZOcJw6Laa
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) March 25, 2021
A photo taken of Biden at the podium showed a notebook with names and pictures of different reporters, with numbers next to different reporters. The numbers corresponded with the order in which Biden called on reporters, beginning with the photo showing “1. Zeke Miller, Associated Press” and Biden calling on Zeke Miller first. Notably, Fox News reporter Peter Doocy, who has been the only standout reporter when asking hard questions to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, was not called on throughout Biden’s press conference.
Biden numbered the reporters.
How do you feel about this, journos?
Do ya like being numbered? pic.twitter.com/iFcoWacXso
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) March 26, 2021
The Biden administration has already been criticized for pushing reporters to give them advance notice on which questions they planned on asking during press briefings. According to The Daily Beast, “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.”