Biden has only allowed seven formal sit-in interviews with journalists in 2022

As a presidential candidate, President Biden advocated being “transparent” with the press in hopes of restoring civility between the White House and the media after years of animosity during the Trump era. But in the second year of his presidency, his availability to the press has only diminished further.

In 2022, President Biden has only allowed seven one-on-one interviews with journalists. His first was the pre-Super Bowl sit-down with NBC’s Lester Holt in early February. He waited until June, more than four months, to do an off-camera interview with the Associated Press.

The following month, Biden sat down with Channel 12 Israeli host Yonit Levi. He then waited until September before doing an interview with CBS News’ Scott Pelley, which aired on 60 Minutes.

In October, during the final phase before the 2022 midterms, Biden conducted interviews with CNN’s Jake Tapper, MSNBC host and Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart, and Nexstar’s Reshad Hudson.

BIDEN ‘GIVES A LIST’ OF REPORTERS IN POST-MIDTERM PRESS CONFERENCE: ‘PEOPLE I SHOULD CALL’

He has not sat down with an actual journalist since October 27. His latest television interview aired Monday with Drew Barrymore, an actress-turned-talk-show host, as he joined First Lady Jill Biden in discussing being the brunt of his wife’s teasing and performing a version of ‘The Newlywed games”.

“We’ve never seen a more wrapped up, homogenous and protected president than Joe Biden,” said Joe Concha, a staffer and media analyst at Fox News. “His supervisors are petrified when he sits down for anything resembling a challenging interview.”

President Biden sat down with CNN's Jake Tapper in October, who drew criticism from critics for doing so

President Biden sat down with CNN’s Jake Tapper in October, who was slammed by critics for the “softball” interview.
(Screenshot/CNN)

Biden was surpassed by his running mate, Vice President Kamala Harris, who has conducted at least 12 interviews with news organizations in 2022, including ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, PBS and Vice News.

The interviews Biden has afforded throughout the year have typically been much friendlier seating, as with liberal historian Heather Cox Richardson and progressive YouTube host Brian Tyler Cohen in February, late-night host Jimmy Kimmel in June, radio hosts DL Hughley, Willie Moore, Jr. and Al Sharpton in November and Barrymore this month.

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In addition, the president submitted written responses to digital outlet The Skimm, spoke about cars with Jay Leno on his CNBC program, and encountered technical issues when calling NBC’s Dylan Dreyer during the network’s coverage of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The president granted fewer than half as many interviews with journalists in 2022 as in 2021. Over the past year, he spoke to news organizations 15 times, including three CNN town halls.

President Biden conducted fewer interviews and press conferences in 2022 than in his first year in office.

President Biden conducted fewer interviews and press conferences in 2022 than in his first year in office.
(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

While the White House touts that Biden occasionally answers impromptu questions hurled at him by reporters at various events, the president has rarely held formal press conferences. In 2022, he held just five solo press conferences (he held six in 2021) and six joint press conferences (three in 2021), according to data from UC Santa Barbara’s The American Presidency Project.

Biden’s 11 total press conferences lags behind his closest predecessors in her second year in office, Donald Trump’s 18 press conferences (five solo, 13 shared) and Barack Obama’s 19 (10 solo, nine shared), data shows. No second-year president since ex-President Reagan has given fewer press conferences than Biden.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

BIDEN REPEATEDLY IMPLIES THAT HE IS NOT IN CONTROL OF WHEN, WHERE HE CAN TAKE QUESTIONS FROM THE PRESS

During his press conferences, Biden is routinely given a list of preselected reporters to call, which has angered critics.

“Now I’ve been given a list of 10 people to call and y’all to ask me a question but I’m sure you’ll ask me more. So let me start, enough of the list I’ve been given,” Biden told reporters at his last post-midterms press conference in November.

President Biden pulls out his list of preselected reporters to call during a news conference in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC on Wednesday, November 9, 2022.

President Biden pulls out his list of preselected reporters to call during a news conference in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC on Wednesday, November 9, 2022.
(Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Biden raised eyebrows in August 2021 when he told the press he was “directed” to call the pre-selected reporters.

Last year, then-White House press secretary Jen Psaki admitted the staff Ask Biden not to take spontaneous questions from reporters.

“It’s not something we recommend. In fact, we often say, ‘don’t ask questions,'” Psaki said during an interview with David Axelod. “But he will do what he wants because he is the President of the United States.”

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Biden has been criticized for his minimalist approach to the media.

“As President, Donald J. Trump was a media maximalist whose inevitable commentary style helped generate widespread coverage, for better or for worse. President Biden has taken a more stingy approach to dealing with the press — and not all his allies think it’s working,” The New York Times reported in November 2021 of Biden’s “cautious media strategy.”

Politico similarly nicked the president’s lack of media exposure last year, writing, “The lack of interviews reflects the bunker mentality the White House has adopted towards the media — particularly the extended back-and-forth with reporters following, pushing.” and be able to produce .”

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