A new exclusive from The Daily Beast titled “White House Reporters: Biden Team Wanted Our Questions in Advance” reports that the White House press corps is being pressured to provide briefing questions ahead of time in a way that makes even mainstream media journalists uncomfortable.
“While it’s a relief to see briefings return, particularly with a commitment to factual information, the press can’t really do its job in the briefing room if the White House is picking and choosing the questions they want,” one White House correspondent told The Daily Beast. “That’s not really a free press at all.”
“It pissed off enough reporters for people to flag it for the [White House Correspondents Association] for them to deal with it,” another source reportedly said.
While Obama’s deputy press secretary Eric Schultz calls the move “textbook communications work” designed to ensure that Biden’s press secretary has answers ready instead of having to “repeatedly punt questions”, clearly the reporters on the job feel differently.
“The requests prompted concerns among the White House press corps, whose members, like many reporters, are sensitive to the perception that they are coordinating with political communications staffers,” writes the Beast.