Biden is not required to answer reporter questions, according to political analyst Dan Schnur, a Republican-turned-independent now at the University of California. But he urged the White House to remember the news media is a proxy for voters.
“Biden hasn’t completely shut out the press, but he has been less available to them than any president in recent memory,” Schnur added. “The White House has the prerogative of deciding on the format, but the president should be much more available to questions from journalists than has been the case until now.”
Biden has a complicated relationship with the press. Some critics contend the White House does not grant reporters enough access to the president and that aides are “handling” him. Others believe his tendency to make verbal mistakes is problematic.
The State Department has yet to explain or defend its highly unusual decision to remove an NPR reporter from an upcoming trip by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a time when Pompeo is fuming about the public radio network.
NPR’s diplomatic correspondent Michele Kelemen was supposed to be the radio representative on the plane that will travel with Pompeo to the United Kingdom, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan in the coming days. He departs for the UK on Wednesday.
On Tuesday afternoon NPR CEO John Lansing said the State Department “has been unresponsive” to its inquiries.
The editor of the Washington Post says President Trump’s latest insults against two Post reporters are “unwarranted and dangerous.” Trump tweeted on Saturday morning that reporters Philip Rucker and Ashley Parker “shouldn’t even be allowed on the grounds of the White House.”