REVEALED: Joe Biden's ‘cheat sheet’ and all the ‘pre-selected’ reporters for first White House press conference

Photos show Joe Biden referring to notes that had headshots and information on reporters he could call on for his first press conference


                            REVEALED: Joe Biden's ‘cheat sheet’ and all the ‘pre-selected’ reporters for first White House press conference
President Biden referring to a 'cheat sheet' and an image from his first news conference with only 25 reporters (Twitter and Getty Images)

President Joe Biden has come under immense criticism for using a 'cheat sheet' during his first-ever press conference. Photos taken show Biden referring to a sheet with a list of all the reporters at the conference. The sheet also had a select few of them pre-selected to ask questions and numbered in the sequence the president would call on them. Biden also had other cards with talking points for him to refer to.

The photographed sheet is a glimpse into how extensively the administration is controlling access to the press. Earlier, Biden had come under criticism for not calling on Fox News' Peter Doocy, which many defenders argued was because of the network's opposition to Democrats. Now, it seems like the plan, all along, was to ensure Biden only got questions he wanted to answer. 

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As news of the 'talking points' cards and the 'cheat sheet' is being discussed on social media platforms, many have slammed the President for his performance. More importantly, it also shows a marked difference in how the administration handles the press compared to the access granted in the Trump-era.

As president, Trump would often field questions from critical outlets like CNN and MSNBC, even if he did insult or dismiss questions from their reporters. Instead, Biden seems to be using a much more discreet strategy, but with a similar goal of shutting down any critical media coverage. 

The reporters Biden likes

While 25 reporters were allowed into the room for the press conference, Biden only fielded questions from 10 of them. The photographed sheet shows the names of four of those journalists in the pre-selected pool. They are:

Zeke Miller

Miller currently works for the Associated Press (AP) and has been covering the White House since 2016. A graduate of Yale, Miller began his career as a political journalist in 2011 with Business Insider, before moving to Time in 2013. In 2016, he was promoted to White House correspondent. Miller currently serves as the President of the White House Correspondents Association. 

Ken Thomas

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reporter is a veteran in political journalism. After graduating from Columbia University, Thomas had a brief stint at the Charleston Daily Mail, before moving to AP. Thomas was with AP for 22 years, before joining WSJ in 2018. 

Justin Sink

Sink is currently the White House correspondent for Bloomberg and previously worked at The Hill. Not much is known about him, but he is a regular member of the reporters' pool that covers the administration. 

Kaitlan Collins

Collins, who is CNN's chief White House correspondent, is well known for her public clashes with the Trump administration. Since 2017, she has been working with the network covering the President. In 2019, she was named in Forbes magazine's list of '30 Under 30: Media'. 

Associated Press reporter Zeke Miller asks U.S. President Joe Biden a question during the news conference on March 25, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Getty Images)

 

The other reporters Biden took questions from included Yamiche Alcindor (PBS), Seung Min Kim (The Washington Post), Cecilia Vega (ABC News), Kristen Welker (NBC News), Nancy Cordes (CBS News), Janet Rodriguez (Univision).

Notably, Biden did not call on any of the three pro-Trump outlets. Peter Doocy (Fox News), Emerald Robinson (Newsmax), and Scott Thuman (Sinclair) were all ignored. 

There have also been numerous allegations that the questions were pre-screened by the administration, but so far this allegation has not been proved. Back in February, The Daily Beast also reported that the communications team asks for questions in advance of Psaki's daily briefing.

All this information, together, paints a damning picture of an administration that promised to be more truthful and accountable than the previous one. Not fielding questions from your toughest critics is a poor way to show that commitment.

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