President Joe Biden has come under fire for holding the fewest number of press conferences since the Ronald Reagan era in the 1980s.
Biden averaged just 10 press conferences each year during his first two years in office, while Ronald Reagan averaged seven, Donald Trump 19.5 and Barack Obama 23, according to his research. The American Presidency Project open.
He’s also given far fewer interviews, giving just 54 in his first two years compared to 202 Obama interviews and 275 Obama interviews, respectively, according to figures from presidential communications researcher Martha Joynt Kumar.
The findings follow Biden’s four-day trip to Ireland last week when the 80-year-old skipped the decades-old tradition of holding a news conference while abroad.
And after the president’s meeting with the Colombian president on Thursday, Gustavo Petro found himself asking questions from reporters in the West Wing alone because Biden was MIA.
As Biden prepares to announce his candidacy for a second term early Tuesday, it has led many to question why the current occupant of the Oval Office is so keen to keep the media at bay.
President Joe Biden answers questions from reporters at a post-election press conference at the White House on November 9, 2022
Former President Ronald Reagan answers a question during a news conference in the White House press conference room in this undated photo. During this press conference, Reagan said that the United States was still negotiating in order to persuade Panama’s leader, General Manuel Noriega, to leave that country, but that he would not discuss the details of a possible deal.
White House officials claim this is part of a deliberate strategy to get around traditional news media to connect with audiences “wherever they are,” without risking filtering out political or investigative journalists, according to the White House. New York times a report.
But others believe the Biden camp is doing this to protect it from unregistered exchanges that have often drawn criticism and wrongdoing.
White House Communications Director Ben LaBolt said, “The disintegration of the media and the changing nature of information consumption requires a communications strategy that adapts to reach Americans where they get the news.
“Our ultimate goal is to reach the American people wherever and however they consume media, and that’s not just through the briefing room or Washington-based news outlets.”
Biden officials note that the traditional daily White House briefings by the press secretary — which were suspended for more than a year when former President Trump was the nation’s leader — have also been restored.
Furthermore, officials say Biden’s “informal, helpful Q&A interactions with reporters” show that he is happy to connect with those journalists who cover him on a regular basis, the New York Times reported.
Since Biden took office on January 20, 2021, he has also reached out to the public in various ways — such as speeches, written opinion pieces, and many televised town hall meetings.
During his final State of the Union address, he engaged in an impromptu exchange with Republicans about Social Security.
President Joe Biden speaks briefly with reporters upon his return to the White House on March 28. Biden was flying back to Washington, D.C., after a trip to Durham, North Carolina, to tour semiconductor maker Wolfspeed and give remarks about his administration. Agenda “Invest in America”
White House Press Secretary Karen Jean-Pierre (pictured) speaks to reporters in the White House press briefing room in Washington, DC, on February 6.
President Biden speaks with reporters before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington March 28. Biden was off to North Carolina to visit an expanding semiconductor plant
During Biden’s trip to Ireland, he spoke to reporters who answered no fewer than 40 questions during five different events — one of them on the tarmac at Air Force One near Washington.
LaBolt told the New York Times that the commander-in-chief has held nearly 400 question-and-answer sessions with reporters since taking office.
“This is more than Mr. Trump, Mr. Obama or George W. Bush have done during similar periods in their presidencies,” he said.
However, some say those contacts with journalists were “very short”. And in some cases, reporters are seen shouting their questions quickly with no response from the president—or if he does, it’s usually a one- or two-word answer.
Sky News Australia Host James Morrow posted a clip on April 16 of Biden’s trip to Ireland mocking the president and it has had nearly 600,000 views.
US President Joe Biden “skipped” the traditional bilateral press conference with the Irish prime minister because off-the-record questions were now “too difficult” for him.
He also rotated the tape that showed Biden addressing the crowd where he mispronounced the word “lick” instead of the word “kick”.
“Thank you all…God bless the world…let’s go lick the world…and get it done.”
A transcript from the White House documents Biden calling upon his return Air Force One from Ireland – having answered questions on topics including, the prospect of Irish reunification, the debt ceiling and the High Court’s impending abortion decision.
The president began talking to reporters at 2:43 a.m. and the exchange ended at 2:45 a.m.
President Joe Biden sits down with actors Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, and Sean Hayes for an episode of the “Smartless” podcast in November 2022
The Biden family appearing on The Drew Barrymore Show in October 2022
The term “press conference” refers to an interaction between the president and several members of the press in a relatively formal setting, according to the American Presidency Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
In the early years, those interactions were only partially “recorded,” as specified by the president, and not broadcast live.
For example, when Presidents Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover were leaders of the free world, reporters submitted written questions, and the president chose to answer them.
However, a “Chairman Exchange with Correspondents” is a different kind of interaction that usually takes place alongside a meeting or other event—often when the Chair moves from one place to another.
The “single” category is when the chief is alone with reporters. here they are Conferences that are usually broadcast live and in primetime.
During a conference, the president appears alongside one or more other speakers – like a foreign head of government.
The American Presidency Project follows up on press briefings that took place during the Biden administration. Their extensive collection includes more than 6,000 press briefings dating back to when President Clinton was in office.
On their site they explain the differences between a press conference (press conference) and a press conference.
The president rarely participates in press briefings. this bThe thefts are meetings of the White House press corps with the press secretary and others, the draft states.
They provide an opportunity for the White House to relay information and for journalists to ask questions on any topic of interest.
The Trump administration has suspended regular press meetings with the press secretary for a while.
The US Presidency Project found that Biden averaged ten press conferences a year during his first two years in office, including 11 one-on-one and nine with foreign leaders.
Trump averaged 19.5 over the same period, Obama 23 and Clinton 41.5. The numbers showed that Herbert Hoover was 82 – and Coolidge averaged 90 each year.
This graph shows the “average syndicated news conferences per year” according to the US Presidency Project in Santa Barbara, US
This graph shows the “average news conferences per year”
This graph displays the “average of single news conferences per year”
Nixon and Reagan each averaged seven press conferences in their first two years, though Reagan’s average was cut short by an assassination attempt in his first year in office.
The comparisons are similar when it comes to interviews, according to a tally by longtime presidential communications scholar Martha Joynt Kumar.
Compared to the 54 interviews Biden has given since taking office (including celebrity interviews), Trump gave 202, Obama 275, Bush 89, Clinton 132, George HW Bush 96 and Reagan 106 — all during his first two years. According to the report.
Since taking office, Biden has not given a single interview to reporters from a major newspaper.
But according to The New York Times, Biden hasn’t completely given up on press conferences.
He spent 53 minutes answering reporters’ questions during an official news conference at the White House after Democrats performed better than expected during last year’s midterm elections.
And in January 2022, he held a marathon session with reporters, answering questions in the East Room for an hour and 51 minutes, which marked his first year in office.