• February 2, 2023

Biden White House asking reporters to share questions in advance of briefings:

 Biden White House asking reporters to share questions in advance of briefings:

White House reporters are riled up by President Biden’s communications staff asking for a sneak peek into what questions they plan to ask during press secretary Jen Psaki’s briefings.

The issue came up during a White House Correspondents’ Association video call on Friday. Print reporters were encouraged by WHCA leaders to push back against these requests, which were detailed in written communications and by sources who spoke with the Daily Beast.

“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 said. “That’s not really a free press at all.”

“It pissed off enough reporters for people to flag it for the [WHCA] to deal with it,” another source told the outlet.

 

The Washington Examiner had reporters on the call, but they were unable to contribute to this report as they were bound by an off-the-record agreement.

The report said the White House did not deny reaching out to reporters about questions but explained that reaching out to reporters is part of an effort to improve the quality of information given during the briefings.

 

“Our goal is to make the daily briefing as useful and informative as possible for both reporters and the public,” a White House spokesperson said. “Part of meeting that objective means regularly engaging with the reporters who will be in the briefing room to understand how the White House can be most helpful in getting them the information they need. That two-way conversation is an important part of keeping the American people updated about how government is serving them.”

Publicly, the Biden White House has taken strides to display a less adversarial tone toward the media than the Trump administration. In her debut briefing on Inauguration Day, Psaki said she has a “deep respect for the role of a free and independent press.”

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