A former Clinton aide who now pretends to be a journalist has been granted a sit-down interview with Joe Biden. Because, of course, he has. ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, cohost of Good Morning America, will interview Biden this week. The interview is set to air on Wednesday.
Biden sat down for their first network interview since being sworn-in as president with CBS’s Norah O’Donnell. The interview ran as a part of the Super Bowl pregame coverage. The big headline from that interview at the time was “I hope to God I live up to the job” of being president. So, that tells you how fluffy the interview came off. Stephanopoulos still has his Sunday morning show, This Week but is no longer the Chief Anchor on Good Morning America. If past is prologue, Stephanopoulos will conduct a friendly, non-combative interview with Sleepy Joe. During a town hall with Biden last October, Stephanopoulos didn’t even bother to bring up the Hunter Biden corruption scandals.
The protectors of Biden, his staff, and his wife, clearly think it is best that Biden stick with soft interviews instead of allowing him to conduct an official press conference. During the 2020 presidential campaign, Biden stayed in his basement and concentrated on interviews with local news anchors across the country instead of taking questions from the press. When he delivered statements to the press, he only called on a limited number of reporters who were approved by his staff. Biden has been in office more than 50 days now and even the Washington Post’s editorial board is calling for him to do a press conference. “Avoiding news conferences must not become a regular habit for Mr. Biden. He is the president, and Americans have every right to expect that he will regularly submit himself to substantial questioning.”
WaPo wasn’t too hard on Biden, though, because it was busy bashing Trump for being mean to the press. Trump’s term in office exposed how deeply partisan and often dishonest the press is and they haven’t recovered from that. An article in Friday’s WaPo compares Biden to his predecessors and he doesn’t come off as looking good.
At this point in office, Trump had given five news conferences. Obama had given two, George W. Bush three and Clinton five.
However, those figures require an asterisk. Four of the five news conferences Trump gave during this period were the bilateral kind, in which the president and a foreign leader appear jointly and take turns calling on reporters. He went solo in only one of the five. Obama, Bush and Clinton also appeared alone just once during their first 50 days.
Did you notice that even when WaPo tries to smack Trump, they end up proving he was equal if not superior in his availability to the press when he is compared to his predecessors? I think Trump’s joint press conferences with foreign leaders were more stressful for him than those he did alone, given how the press delighted in trying to embarrass him on the world stage. During Trump’s administration, the press abandoned all decorum granted to past presidents. Some reporters decided to make career advances on the back of their hyper-partisan coverage of Trump. Looking at you, Jim Acosta.
Is Joe Biden afraid to face the national media in an official press conference? Probably not since he is a career politician with over 40 years of experience under his belt. We can only assume it is his handlers that are hesitant to put him out there. They know he’s not up to the challenge of a full four-year term in the highest office in the land. By all appearances, he is slipping in his mental capacity and is often confused. He looks frail. A formal press conference would not allow Jill Biden to sit next to him and field questions she deems to be too much for Joe. If this isn’t the reason, what would it be? His schedule is light, compared to that of Trump. Biden rarely travels, though he has gone back to his home in Delaware three out of the last six weekends. Another weekend he went to play video games with his grandkids at Camp David. In other words, his travels are only to safe places for him. He is being handled as though he is fragile.
Reporters are beginning to notice they are being ditched by Biden. Some are bold enough to ask White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki about it. She says Biden will hold a real press conference by the end of this month. Is this why a softball interview was scheduled with Stephanopoulos now? Is it meant to be a diversion from the real deal? Probably. They want to stall as long as possible. Biden is happy to let Psaki and others speak for him.
Joe Biden campaigned on being a return to normalcy, of how everything is traditionally done. He has failed miserably on those pledges. He has exceeded his predecessors in governing by executive orders and actions, at least up until now, and he is ramming through trillion-dollar legislation on a party-line vote. That hasn’t been done since his days in the Obama administration. He continues to trash Republicans though he ran on unity and working with both sides of the aisle. We’ll see how long his staff and wife can protect him from the press.