Answer: He’s just not that into you. Or anyone, as Paul Farhi observes today on Twitter. Not only did Joe Biden wait longer for an open presser than any president in the past century, he’s also not doing sit-down interviews with print or TV outlets.
It’s “unusual,” Farhi comments. That’s an understatement:
— Paul Farhi (@farhip) June 10, 2021
Lest anyone get the wrong idea, Farhi isn’t a crypto-righty at the WaPo. He’s one of their media-beat reporters, which makes this issue within his wheelhouse. It’s not surprising that Farhi or someone like him would raise Biden’s reluctance to face the press in practically any format as an issue.
What is surprising is that Farhi seems to be the only media-beat reporter keeping score. At least in February and early March, the White House correspondents and their outlets acted as though they cared whether Biden held press conferences. They’re the main beneficiaries of both these pressers and (usually) presidential one-on-ones. Why aren’t they demanding some face time with the president?
And better yet, why isn’t the White House offering those opportunities? Presidents traditionally dislike that part of the job — perhaps excepting Donald Trump — but they also recognized its value for shaping the news cycle to their advantage. Going dark for 77 days and counting is not just “unusual,” it’s downright telling. We know why the White House wants Biden under wraps — and it’s not because they’re still playing “rope-a-dope” against Trump.