TIME magazine reporter criticizes White House for lack of press access for NYC event, Psaki responds

White House press secretary Jen Psaki got into a confrontation with a reporter on Twitter regarding President Biden’s Thursday event in New York City.

TIME Magazine’s political correspondent Molly Ball put out a series of tweets criticizing Biden for taking part in a “public” event with New York City Mayor Eric Adams while restricting media access.

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New York City Mayor Eric Adams speaks addresses the press about the scene where NYPD officers were shot while responding to a domestic violence call in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, U.S., January 21, 2022.  REUTERS/Dieu-Nalio Chery

New York City Mayor Eric Adams speaks addresses the press about the scene where NYPD officers were shot while responding to a domestic violence call in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, U.S., January 21, 2022.  REUTERS/Dieu-Nalio Chery
(Reuters)

“Apparently Joe Biden wants to be seen with Eric Adams so badly that the White House is…not letting the national media cover it!” Ball tweeted. “Biden is doing a ‘public’ event with the mayor here in NYC, but it is open only to the pool and an invitation-only press list. Mayor’s office says they had no say in who was invited.”

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She added, “There was no credentialing for this event, @WhiteHouse just handpicked pre selected media outlets to cover it. Very cool, very transparency.”

Biden traveled to New York City to discuss a “comprehensive strategy to combat gun crime” with Adams. This followed two funerals for fallen NYPD officers Jason Rivera and Wilbert Mora who were shot and killed while responding to a domestic violence call in January.

Psaki defended press access to the meeting. 

“The event is live on television with a full press pool selected by the rotation run by the White House Correspondents Association. If we are trying to keep it a secret we are doing a bad job,” Psaki responded to Ball’s tweets.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks with reporters in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022, in Washington.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks with reporters in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022, in Washington.
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Ball, however, still disagreed.

“As I said, there was no ability for national media outside the pool to cover this event,” Ball replied.

President Biden answers a question as he speaks about the November Jobs Report from the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 3, 2021. 

President Biden answers a question as he speaks about the November Jobs Report from the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 3, 2021. 
(ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

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New York City saw 485 murders in 2021, a slight uptick from 2020. All other major crimes also saw an increase, including subway crimes which rose by 65%. Although Biden is planning to discuss combating the rising crime rate in cities like New York City, New York residents have said that they expect “absolutely nothing” to come from this public event.

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