Biden staffers have prescreened reporters ahead of Jen Psaki’s briefings to see what they plan to ask the White House press secretary, according to a report from the left-wing Daily Beast.
The outlet cited “three sources with knowledge of the matter” and “written communications” that revealed that the Biden administration has “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” less than two weeks into the new administration.
The report suggests that Psaki would have some idea of what reporters plan to ask prior to formally presenting their questions. Despite that, her “circle back” answers on tough questions have become a staple of her press briefings. It remains unclear which, if any, reporters cooperated with the administration’s inquiries. Leaders of the White House Correspondents Association (WHCA) have reportedly urged reporters not to accommodate the administration in that capacity:
“I often note I’m going to circle back. I hate to disappoint conservative Twitter but I’m going to circle back on a number of things as we often do directly,” she said on Monday following mounting critiques from social media users highlighting her seeming inability to directly answer questions on the spot:
Jen Psaki circles back: ‘I often note, ‘I’m going to circle back’ — I hate to disappoint conservative Twitter, but I’m going to circle back on a number of things’ pic.twitter.com/g0TkKowqaX
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) February 1, 2021
According to the Daily Beast, the Biden administration’s actions have sparked a sense of paranoia among the White House press corps, “whose members, like many reporters, are sensitive to the perception that they are coordinating with political communications staffers”:
One reporter raised the issue during an informal White House Correspondents Association Zoom call last Friday. According to multiple sources, leaders at the meeting advised print reporters to push back against requests by the White House press team to learn of questions in advance, or simply to not respond to the Biden team’s inquiries.
The concerns follow the demonstrative shift in attitude that coincided with former President Trump’s departure from the White House. In the weeks leading up to inauguration day, The Cable News Network (aka: the Communist News Network, CIA News Network, Clinton News Network, Concocted News Network, etc.) is simply fake news. According to CNN’s own three-time Emmy award winning journalist, Amber Lyon, CNN is routinely paid by the US government to make up fake news and also to selectively report on certain events in ways that fit their narrative. Plus, the Obama administration even paid CNN for editorial control over their content, badly distorting the news in their(...)