Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen a bit of a “revolt” of sorts from some in the White House press corps with the Biden administration when it comes to treating them with kid gloves. As the transparency issues grow, so does the frustration level even among reporters who were previously disposed to give White House press secretary Jen Psaki the benefit of the doubt on her answers and non-answers.
But even though a few have thrown caution to the wind and are doing real reporting for a change, rest assured that the vast majority are still ready, willing, and able to carry the Biden administration’s water. This week’s example is ABC News chief Washington correspondent Jon Karl.
The former White House Press Correspondents’ Association president did two different “interviews” Tuesday, one on “The View” and the other on “Good Morning America.” Just by those shows alone, one could surmise that what he had to say would have all the hallmarks of a White House press release. He proved it when asked about the press access issues others in the briefing room have complained about.
In an exchange with “View” co-host Meghan McCain, Karl explained that “the difference” between the Biden and Trump administrations on press accessibility was that Biden wanted to lower the temperature or something in comparison to Trump (bolded emphasis added):
MEGHAN MCCAIN: What is different about the Biden administration right now? I know conservatives are very hard on the fact that President Biden hasn’t done a press conference yet. Obviously, it’s a huge tone shift from the Trump administration. What do you see as the biggest difference covering this white house versus the last one?
JONATHAN KARL: Well It’s all about turning the temperature way the heck down, Meghan. Joe Biden doesn’t feel like he needs to be out there dominating the news every day. He’s not out there picking fights with Republicans. He’s not picking fights with the press. You know, I think that the lack of press conferences is because he doesn’t want to be dominating the news right now. He wants to get back to a new sense of normal where the chaos and crisis and drama in the West Wing of the White House isn’t dominating the world’s attention.
JOY BEHAR: Okay, that’s a good answer. I like that answer…
Watch the segment below, via MRC-TV:
Karl also defended the Biden administration’s approach to the border crisis. “Biden signaled very clearly he was going to treat people coming over the border illegally more humanely,” he proclaimed. “The downside of that very understandable policy is that it encourages more people to say they’re going to come up because they’re going to be treated more humanely.”
I mean if I didn’t know any better I’d say Karl’s comments came straight from Jen Psaki herself. There is no discernible difference between what he said and what she’s said in recent weeks at the podium when asked about the border crisis. It’s insane.
And Karl isn’t the only one. On Monday, the Politico boiled down Biden’s lack of media availability to him turning into a “disciplined messenger.” I kid you not.
It’s a problem – a big problem – when it becomes almost impossible to distinguish a supposedly objective political reporter from a member of the presidential administration he or she is assigned to cover.
For all the yada yadaing from CNN’s Brian Stelter and his ilk about how Fox News is supposedly a “propaganda outlet” for Republicans, reporters at other national news outlets are the ones actually putting on clinics in demonstrating how to put your best state-run TV face forward. But don’t look for Karl’s troubling remarks to make it into Stelter’s media newsletter, because he’s just as guilty of sounding like a Biden press secretary as Karl has been.
It’s rather comical – but not in a funny way – how those who yelled the loudest during the Trump administration about how it was the press’s job to hold politicians accountable have done complete 180s now that a Democrat holds the White House. Comical, predictable, and most of all, infuriating as hell.