With the week over and the weekend upon us, I looked back to see what stood out this past week.
President Joe Biden finally had a press conference on his 65th day in the office. But it wasn’t a presser that resembled anything that I’ve seen in the past four years. In fact, it was very different.
When former President Trump would answer questions, unlike President Biden, he didn’t have cheat notes to read from.
The press never had to submit questions in writing and it was quite obvious to me that Biden was given the questions so that his handlers could write the answers down for Biden to look at if he forgot them.
Biden also had pictures of all the journalists with their networks written with their names and some had been numbered, presumably in the order of when they would be called on.
No journalist spoke out of turn and none yelled out questions in an aggressive tone. Questions were only asked once and everyone seemed happy with the answers or so they pretended.
There were no questions about COVID-19. The last exclusion was probably the least expected, considering the pandemic has killed more than half a million Americans and kept much of the country home for the past year.
Thursday’s presser was carried live on the major broadcast and cable news networks.
Before he took questions, Biden announced he was setting a new goal of having 200 million vaccine doses for the coronavirus administered during his first 100 days in office.
And that was the end of the COVID talk. None of the 10 reporters who questioned him, some on multiple topics, brought the topic up. They must have known better than to slip one in or COVID is no longer an A-topic.
Four questioners brought up immigration and the Mexican border.
Biden was asked about the increase in immigrant children crossing the border.
He answered, “Truth of the matter is nothing has changed. As many people came — 28% increase in children to the border in my administration; 31% in the last year in 2019, before the pandemic — in the Trump administration. It happens every single solitary year. There is a significant increase in the number of people coming to the border in the winter months of January, February, March. It happens every year.”
The president erred. Unaccompanied immigrant children have come to the border in higher numbers than what he said.
According to statistics published by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, authorities encountered 9,457 children without a parent in February, a 61% increase from January, not 28%. The numbers of unaccompanied children did rise 31% between January 2019 and February 2019.
Was Biden given the wrong information? Maybe, because he had a cheat sheet. If he had the numbers in his head, they got scrambled.
Three reporters asked about the filibuster, that will be key to getting legislation passed in the Senate.
Biden was also asked whether he would run for reelection and if Vice President Kamala Harris would be on his ticket.
A couple of months into the new presidency and that was an important question? I don’t think so.
But he answered yes, after seemingly getting thrown off the course his brain was taking him, and managed to throw in that there might not be a Republican party in four years.
I wonder who’s been feeding that to him?
When a Bloomberg reporter asked specific questions about economic policy and China, Biden instead embarked on a long, mumbled account on relations between the two countries.
Then a question about gun control sent Biden into a long discussion of infrastructure plans, which he bumbled his way through.
The reporters not called on to ask a question included anyone from The New York Times, Newsmax’s Emerald Robinson, and no reporter from One American News Network and Fox News Channel’s Peter Doocy.
I guess no one is really missing anything with Biden not having a press conference until Thursday and the fewer he has in the future could possibly be better for his image.
The thought that Biden had said he wanted to bring the country together and not cause disdain between Democrats and Republicans appears to be false.
Not one conservative, and I say that loosely, news outlet was called upon.
Journalists were polite and no one acted like Jim Acosta, who is a correspondent for CNN, used to act with President Trump or with anyone else who was pro-Trump.
Actually, I used to enjoy the fighting spirit at times but it appears that things have changed. The media goes easy on Biden and that my friends is biased reporting.