President Joe Biden’s recent appearance at the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) dinner brought to light an uncomfortable truth. As he took the stage, surrounded by the press corps that played a significant role in his election, Biden made a revealing comment about his time in the White House.
“In a lot of ways, this dinner sums up my first two years in office,” he said. “I’ll talk for 10 minutes, take zero questions, and cheerfully walk away.” The self-aware statement and subsequent laughter from the crowd highlighted the cozy relationship between the current administration and the media. This stands in stark contrast to the adversarial dynamic that existed during Donald Trump’s presidency when the press was determined to hold the administration accountable.
While it’s understandable for the media to prefer a more amicable relationship with the White House, the coziness raises questions about the press’s objectivity and commitment to journalistic integrity. It’s worth noting that Trump never attended a WHCA dinner, perhaps sensing the hostility he would face.
The press corps’ enthusiastic response to Biden’s speech came across more like a campaign rally than a gathering of professional journalists. This is concerning because it underscores the degree to which the media seems to be providing cover for the Biden administration’s shortcomings.
Social media users were quick to point out the disquieting nature of the event, with one user describing it as “insulting at this point.” The spectacle did not bode well for the president, the media, or the country as a whole.
The establishment media’s eagerness to support the Biden administration, despite its many flaws, is worrisome. The lack of rigorous questioning of Biden and his staff, outside of Fox News’ Peter Doocy, is a troubling departure from the media’s previous tenacity.
Moreover, the press’s willingness to submit questions in advance for a prepared president to answer suggests that they are more interested in maintaining a positive relationship with the White House than holding it accountable. Biden’s frequent gaffes and incoherent remarks should be cause for concern, but instead, they are often overlooked or dismissed by compliant media.
The cozy dynamic between the Biden administration and the press corps is a disservice to the American people who rely on the media to provide objective and balanced coverage. As President Biden’s candid moment at the WHCA dinner demonstrated, there is a pressing need for the media to refocus on its essential role as the watchdog of democracy.