Biden takes questions from mostly pre-selected reporters at first formal press conference as POTUS

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Biden offered an impromptu question to Fox News’ Peter Doocy before leaving the podium

By Joseph A. Wulfsohn | Fox News

President Biden held his first formal White House press conference on Monday, but most of the questions asked were from reporters that were pre-selected by his team.

Following his remarks about his “Made in America” manufacturing initiative, a member of Biden’s staff was heard calling on specific reporters to ask their questions to the president, something that was similarly done during the 2020 presidential election and the transition period. The pre-selected reporters came from The Associated Press, The Washington Post, NBC News, Reuters, and Bloomberg News.

Biden did, however, offer an impromptu question to Fox News’ Peter Doocy, who he teased for “always ask[ing] him tough questions and always has an edge to them,” but added he “like[s] him anyway.”

Journalists took to Twitter to point out the mostly pre-selected presser.

“So I guess I need to continue the practice of telling you all what I would’ve asked here,” Roll Call correspondent Niel Lesniewski reacted.”

“A White House handler is calling on reporters by name and by outlet one-by-one to ask Biden a question, unlike Trump who called on reporters as the [spirit] moved him,” Real Clear News reporter Philip Wegmann pointed out how Biden’s predecessor engaged with the press.

This continues to be profoundly odd and a painfully obvious attempt to protect him from those suspected of having the audacity to ask a challenging question,” The Hill columnist and Fox News contributor Joe Concha said.

Fox News sent inquiries to The White House about its selection process by Biden’s team of reporters who get to ask their questions and whether or not their questions are pre-screened. Fox News also asked if such a process is being temporarily implemented as part of his team’s safety protocols during the coronavirus pandemic or whether it is the new normal under the Biden presidency.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki responded to Fox News, “In an effort to make sure we are rotating through reporters in the pool, the President took questions from wire reporters, one print outlet and a few network correspondents today and will look forward to taking additional questions again soon.”

Biden’s presser pales in comparison to the daily press briefings held by Psaki, who has taken questions from virtually all reporters in the room, even providing some to ask another round of questions.

Joseph A. Wulfsohn is a media reporter for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @JosephWulfsohn.

 

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