U.S. President Joe Biden exits after speaking in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021. Biden vowed to continue evacuations from Afghanistan after explosions in Kabul killed 12 U.S. service members, and said the U.S. will retaliate against those responsible for the bombings. Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Analysis

5 Times Joe Biden Ran Away From Media Questions On Afghanistan

DailyWire.com

Among the many images that Americans will never forget from the botched U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, one continually repeats itself: President Joe Biden or his representatives turning their backs on the media and fleeing questions like sniper fire. The administration’s refusal to answer reporters’ queries and clear desire to evade this rare case of media scrutiny meant that numerous press conferences ended with a volte-face and a quick withdrawal from the room.

Here are five examples and what they mean for our country:

1) The Biden administration’s decision to turn the other cheek began during the president’s first interaction with the media after the fall of Kabul. One day later — on Monday, August 16 — President Joe Biden gave an address putatively accepting blame for the outcome, before blaming former President Donald Trump and the Afghan army. He then left without taking a single question.

2) On August 18, President Biden gave an address on the nation’s COVID-19 vaccination rates. He then left without taking any questions.

3) On Monday, August 23, President Joe Biden gave another address at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building about COVID-19 vaccination rates and left without responding to reporters’ questions.

4) On Tuesday, August 24, President Biden showed up five hours late for remarks that were originally scheduled for 12 noon. He began the briefing by discussing, not Afghanistan, but the $3.5 trillion budget framework adopted by the House of Representatives. “Before I update you on the meeting that I had with leaders of the G7 earlier today, I want to say a word about the progress we’re making on the Build Back Better agenda here at home,” he said at 5:03 p.m. Eastern time. He then concluded his briefing by ignoring a reporter who asked, “Can you guarantee every American will be out before the troops leave?”

5) On Sunday, August 29, President Biden spoke at the Federal Emergency Management Agency about Hurricane Ida shortly before the storm made landfall. At the end of his remarks, Biden told a reporter, “I’m not supposed to take any questions, but go ahead.”

“Mr. President, on Afghanistan–” said Bloomberg News reporter Jennifer Jacobs.

“I’m not going to answer Afghanistan now,” Biden said, dismissively waving his right hand at the reporter before slamming it down on the podium.

Honorable Mention: Secretary of State Anthony Blinken

On Monday, August 30, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced the end of U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan. As he concluded his speech, a reporter yelled, “Does this administration regret its word that no American would be left behind?“ Secretary Blinken kept walking.

CNN’s Jim Sciutto tweeted his disapproval, saying, “You gotta answer reporter [sic] questions after a speech and a moment like this.”

Takeaways

The president’s pronounced avoidance of media scrutiny drives home a few points:

First, President Biden brings a true top-down mentality to every aspect of his presidency, from the economy to the direction information flows. After Secretary Blinken’s speech, The Washington Post’s military reporter, Dan Lamothe, said the Biden administration seems to prefer “one-way communication with the American people.” Don’t call us; we’ll call you.

Second, the president, who has a notoriously low threshold for negative feedback, leads a White House that is hypercritical of negative media coverage. Multiple Biden administration officials monitored CNN’s coverage of the Bidens’ German Shepherd, Major, biting people at the White House, according to internal emails recently uncovered by Judicial Watch. That dovetails with reports that the Biden administration’s efforts to shape and control news coverage are extreme, even compared to other presidents.

Finally, the Biden White House is worried about substance, not style, on the Afghanistan evacuation. Officials have publicly admitted that they tell President Biden not to take questions from the media, and the president seems to admit they instruct him which reporters to call on. Engaging journalists’ questions “is not something we recommend. In fact, a lot of times we say, ‘Don’t take questions,’” said White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said in May on David Axelrod’s podcast, “The Axe Files.” The sight of President Biden fleeing reporters has become so common that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted out a supercut video of his greatest hits.

 

The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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