The Corner


Watchdog: The Press Must Be Supportive of Joe Biden

Then–president-elect Joe Biden speaks to reporters in New Castle, Del., December 15, 2020. (Mike Segar/Reuters)

After an astonishing two months without an inaugural press conference, and on the heels of the news that the White House is blocking journalists from covering the border, the Washington Post’s media reporter, Margaret Sullivan, is laser-focused on . . . ensuring that the press is sufficiently supportive of Joe Biden when he finally deigns to speak to them on Thursday:

The first news conference of a new administration is always a high-stakes affair for the White House.

How will the new president do under the glare of direct questioning from a crowd of correspondents? Will he utter a cringe-inducing gaffe? Will he actually make any real news?

But when President Biden steps to the lectern Thursday, the pressure will also be on the White House press corps themselves, as reporters recalibrate after the tumultuous, misinformation-filled Trump years to a president who is far less showy and, to date, much more truthful.

It’s a major test for news organizations and reporters in covering Biden.

And Joe Lockhart, the press secretary under President Bill Clinton, fears the press corps won’t be able to resist walking in with the mentality of, “We’re gonna show all the MAGA people we can be just as tough on Biden as we were on Trump.”

Gosh, wouldn’t that be a disaster!


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