The Associated Press dove into President Biden’s frequent avoidance of the press in an early morning piece on Sunday.
Aamer Madhani’s “Biden shied away from news conferences, interviews in Year 1” highlighted Biden’s first year in office, remarking how seldom the president has held press conferences to answer questions.
“As Biden wraps up his first year in the White House, he has held fewer news conferences than any of his five immediate predecessors at the same point in their presidencies, and has participated in fewer media interviews than any of his recent predecessors,” Madhani wrote. “The dynamic has the White House facing questions about whether Biden, who vowed to have the most transparent administration in the nation’s history, is falling short in pulling back the curtain on how his administration operates and missing opportunities to explain his agenda.”
While Madhani wrote that Biden “does more frequently field questions at public appearances than any of his recent predecessors,” experts within the article noted that “Biden has done just 22 media interviews, fewer than any of his six most recent White House predecessors at the same point in their presidencies.”
Madhani also acknowledged what has become Biden’s “preferred method” of dealing with the press in abruptly ending any answers and walking out of the room. His description included the habit of Biden implying that someone else is in charge by claiming he’s “not supposed” to answer questions.
Quoting Brian Ott, a Missouri State University communications professor, Madhani offered that “the scarcity of Biden news conferences and interviews with mainstream news media may help explain why Biden’s approval ratings are near historic lows.”
“While pop culture and social media offer opportunities to connect with a segment of America, Ott said, the president connecting to the electorate through traditional broadcast and print news outlets — and holding formal news conferences — will be critical to correcting that disconnect,” Madhani wrote.
President Biden currently rests at a 43% approval rating, according to Real Clear Politics, as midterm elections approach later this year. Even some progressives within the Democratic Party have cast doubts about Biden’s chances of winning re-election in 2024.
“The presidency has always been a predominantly rhetorical enterprise,” Ott said. “You can’t drive an agenda without vision casting and part of that has to go through the mainstream press.”