President Biden has once again snubbed tradition, skipping the year-end presidential press conference and opting for fluffy interviews with celebrities. This move is being seen as a clear continuation of his less-than-stellar accessibility to the press over the past three years. The president’s notable absence from the press has raised concerns about his performance, with many questioning his mental acuity and competence, even within his own party.
The White House has insisted that the decision to avoid traditional press conferences is a strategic move to reach the American people through multiple media channels, and to prevent the president’s message from being filtered and distorted by biased reporters. This strategy also conveniently shields Mr. Biden from being interrogated about pressing issues such as the crises in Ukraine and Israel, the border situation, and his son Hunter’s defiance of a congressional subpoena.
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) December 26, 2023
Despite claims that the president’s absence from press conferences is to prevent potential gaffes, some experts argue that the White House is overreacting and doing a disservice to the American people by shielding Mr. Biden from direct questioning by reporters. They argue that it is crucial for the president to demonstrate his cognitive abilities and capability to think on his feet, especially given the concerns about his age and performance.
Although Mr. Biden has made limited appearances before the press, he has made time for lighthearted interviews with celebrities, avoiding the more hard-hitting questions that traditional journalists would pose. These celebrity interviews are seen as a way for the president to garner positive publicity without risking potentially damaging gaffes.
In comparison to his predecessors, President Biden’s lack of interaction with the press is stark. While former President Trump had a combative relationship with the media, he was still more accessible than Mr. Biden has been. Critics have also noted that Mr. Biden’s interview count falls drastically short in comparison to other presidents, with some pointing out that he has granted the fewest interviews since Ronald Reagan.
The president’s choice to forgo traditional press conferences in favor of softer media appearances has drawn criticism from both sides of the political spectrum, with many expressing concerns about the implications of this lack of direct accountability. As the 2024 elections loom, it remains to be seen how this approach to media relations will impact the president’s standing with the American people.