President Joe Biden carried out an off-the-record conversation with a few journalists, and almost the entire conversation consisted of the President complaining about recent coverage, as stated in a recent report.
As part of a recent trip aboard Air Force One, Biden made an appearance back in the media seating area in order to “criticize the quality and tenor of press coverage of his administration,” reported the West Wing Playbook from Politico this past Wednesday.
“Joe Biden doesn’t do many off-the-record chats with reporters. So the traveling White House press corps was surprised and intrigued when the president dropped by Air Force One’s press section for one such session with them during a recent trip to the West Coast,” stated the far-left leaning website. “But Biden wasn’t just there to field questions. He had his own message to deliver. According to multiple people familiar with the off-the-record session, he used much of his time with reporters to criticize the quality and tenor of press coverage of his administration.”
These sessions seemingly put the reporters in an odd position. Onboard the flights of Air Force One there sits only a single reporter from print media who holds the job of reporting back to the other gaggle of reporters what exactly went on while aboard the president’s plane. However, an off-the-record session is supposed to never be shared with the other group of reporters due to two schools of thought, the first being that they may one day be lucky enough to find themselves in such an off-the-record session and, secondly, the president would never hold these candid off-the-record sessions if he assumed that what he was saying would go on to be widely reported.
However, along with the one print reporter, there were almost a dozen other media members including those from TV, radio, and wire service reporters, along with about half a dozen photographers. It is not uncommon for anything that the president says while aboard Air Force One to leak its way out and into the hands of the awaiting press. Actually, the reporters who are in attendance at these off-the-record conversations will often repeat those conversations to those who did not attend, supposedly with the promise that they continue to stay off the record, but that doesn’t always seem to be what happens.
Biden has failed to take part in any sort of sit-down with any media outlet in about 119 days. In an attempt to try and appease this, Biden did a softball interview with Jimmy Kimmel on his late-night talk show this past Wednesday.
Politico has stated that Biden “hasn’t done a sit-down interview with The New York Times’ or Washington Post’s non-opinion sections since taking office, a departure from his former boss Barack Obama, who regularly gave one-on-ones to the Times during his first year. Biden has similarly shut out major wire services like The Associated Press and Reuters. Though he’s given a handful of interviews to the major networks, he still hasn’t conducted a one-on-one with CNN (though he’s done several town hall appearances).”
“I can’t think of a parallel situation – it’s the fifth president I’ve covered and the first one I haven’t interviewed,” claimed Peter Baker, the chief White House correspondent for The Times. “They feel neither the obligation nor the opportunity.”