In her first press briefing, White House press secretary Jen Psaki promised the media the Biden administration would bring “trust and transparency back to the briefing room.”
“There will be times when we see things differently in this room … that’s OK,” Ms. Psaki said. “That’s part of our democracy … rebuilding trust … will be central to our approach in the press office and the White House.”
The White House press corps lauded the statement. “How refreshing,” they cooed.
We’re now in the 42nd day of Joe Biden’s presidency — and he still hasn’t held a solo press briefing, the White House refuses to make public his daily schedule, visitor logs have been restricted and the administration has disabled all public comments and petitions on its official website.
Both former Presidents Barack Obama and Donald J. Trump held solo press briefings within their first 33 days in office. What is President Biden afraid of? And where is the mainstream media’s outrage? Democracy dies in darkness, after all.
The Biden administration said it would release the White House’s visitor logs — however, it has no plans to release its virtual visitor logs — which is where the bulk of the administration’s meetings take place, given the coronavirus pandemic.
Additionally, President Biden signed an executive order that rescinded a Trump executive order that mandated federal agencies publicly post the reasoning behind their policies.
Ms. Psaki explained the Trump order created “unnecessary hurdles” and a “cumbersome process” for the agencies to comply. Another strike against transparency.
Yes, Ms. Psaki holds daily press briefings, but she skillfully avoids answering any real questions. She’s always “circling back” or giving long-winded platitudes of President Biden’s previous statements.
For promising to be such a “transparent” White House, the Biden administration is proving it’s anything but. This is dangerous in many ways.
The American public has no idea what President Biden’s agenda is — he has yet to lay one out to Congress through a State of the Union address or answer direct questions from the press corps on it.
There are likely two reasons for this. The first is President Biden isn’t physically able to take on the press corps alone — in the few unscripted moments he’s had, he forgets basic facts and stumbles defining his own 34 executive orders. It’s been reported President Biden likes to retire early to bed and spend his weekends relaxing at his home in Delaware. During his campaign, lids were often called early in the day.
The second is Biden administration relishes the darkness. The more information they keep from the American public, the more they can get away with. No one knows who is calling the shots at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, who is drafting President Biden’s executive orders, who is running foreign policy (including the bombing of Syria), who is responsible for the militarized Capitol, who reopened “cages” along the Mexico border, or who rescinded his promised $2,000 stimulus payout.
The Biden administration knows the White House press corps won’t hold them accountable, and so, they’re taking advantage of the darkness.