Mainstream media journalists got an up-close and personal look Thursday at how things are going to be between them and the Biden-Harris campaign from now until election time.
And they didn’t like it.
Joe Biden has emerged twice from the confines of his basement this week: 1) to officially introduce Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) as his VP running mate on Wednesday, and 2) to hold a “virtual briefing” with supposed public health experts on the coronavirus Thursday, with Harris sitting 6 feet away from him at another table.
Both days, neither Biden nor Harris took questions from reporters.
Yesterday’s event was especially illuminating – and not in a good way – for journalists who wanted to get a word in with the former veep and his choice for second in command. As the virtual briefing reporters were invited to attend drew to a close, a few in the crowd began to ask questions. In response, Biden blurted out a few words that didn’t make much sense.
It was at that time you can see his handlers in the video below quickly usher reporters away from the stage as though they were cattle to be rounded up and herded behind a fence and away from the candidates. It was super-awkward, so much so that as CNN cut away from what was happening, in-studio anchor Brianna Keilar pointed out that the network had been “pressing” the Biden campaign for answers, and that “there needs to be more questions from reporters.”
WATCH: As soon as reporters got a chance to ask Joe Biden a question, his handlers swiftly moved to protect Biden and kick them out.
Even CNN noticed: "We keep pressing the Biden campaign. There needs to be more questions from reporters."
What are they so afraid of? pic.twitter.com/q62PgbYc8Q
— Trump War Room – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) August 13, 2020
Other mainstream media reporters expressed their frustrations after pointing out how the Biden-Harris campaign did not allow questions for the second day in a row, which one noted was “not a show of confidence” for the campaign:
Biden and Harris did not take questions from reporters at their campaign event today. They should have.
— Caitlin Huey-Burns (@CHueyBurns) August 13, 2020
— Kelly O'Donnell (@KellyO) August 13, 2020
Biden and Harris end and take no questions again
— Will Steakin (@wsteaks) August 13, 2020
The seriousness of the topic and the times – to say nothing of biden’s own criticism of trump’s contempt for a free press – makes accountability all the more essential.
— Jonathan Martin (@jmartNYT) August 13, 2020
I get Biden + Harris not taking questions on the day of their debut, but today they also left without taking questions. When will they? Voters deserve answers to questions.
— Kathryn Watson (@kathrynw5) August 13, 2020
I want to feel some empathy for these reporters. I really do. But considering how they raised next to no questions over the last several months as Biden’s campaign staffers kept him tucked away in his basement, only allowing limited interviews with select reporters for only short amounts of time – and in some cases cutting them off as things got embarrassing, I can’t muster up the energy to be outraged at how they were treated.
After coddling him for months and treating him with kid gloves, what did they expect was going to happen this week?
As much as reporters despise Trump and vice versa, he at least has one thing in his favor as far as they are concerned: He’s showing up day after day to answer their questions. Biden can’t make the same claim. His media availability has been extremely scarce to the point of being non-existent.
The media “built this” by running interference for and allowing Biden and his campaign to get by with limiting the candidate’s time with reporters under the guise of “being safe in the midst of the pandemic.” The more this goes on, the more reporters are going to realize that’s just been an excuse all along to severely control the messaging from a presidential candidate who can’t go five minutes without getting himself in trouble when unleashed.