Biden’s Team Disables Chat on Virtual Press Conference

"Joe Biden at McKinley Elementary School" (CC BY 2.0) by Phil Roeder

The White House transition team of Joe Biden has reportedly disabled the chat function on their virtual press conferences after journalists started asking tough questions. 

Last week, the Daily Wire reported that the invited journalists were getting “frustrated” with the Biden’s team and Joe Biden himself because of the group’s lack of transparency. The reporters also noticed how the team have a few favored reporters who were constantly called to ask questions during the Zoom virtual press conference. 

In connection with this, CNN, PBS, Politico, the New York Times, and Washington Post were given by Biden’s team the chance to ask questions at almost every press conference. At the same time, media outlets like The Associated Press were shut out. 

The apparent bias directly impacted Biden and his image as reporters were starting to speculate that Biden’s team rarely answers unexpected questions, particularly about sensitive subjects such as the ongoing investigation by the Department of Justice into Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden. Biden also avoids answering the question even by late-night television hosts and not network reporters. 

To answer the question, Biden’s team has a typical statement, “President-elect Biden is deeply proud of his son, who has fought through difficult challenges, including the vicious personal attacks of recent months, only to emerge stronger.”

According to a source, Hunter Biden is a target of a grand jury investigation. A “target” means that there is a “high probability that person committed a crime.” 

The President-elect has also shouted that inquiries about his son’s business dealing were “foul play.”

Biden told CBA, “I have, we have, great confidence in our son.” In an interview with “The Late Show” host Stephen Colbert, Biden said, “I am not concerned about any accusations being made against him. It’s used to get to me. I think it’s kind of foul play, but look, it is what it is, and he’s a grown man. He is the smartest man I know. I mean, from a pure intellectual capacity – and as long as he’s good, we’re good.”

Last week, a reporter from The Daily Beast said in the chatbox of the virtual press conference, “Hey guys, there tons of folks looking to ask questions, and since this is being done once a week, could we PLEASE go longer or at least hold more frequent briefings.”

Zeke Miller from The Associated Press also added, “Any chance you can take a few more questions? There are a lot of folks here with questions.” Meanwhile, another reporter also asked, “Is there a point in saying we want to ask questions if you only call on the same small group every week?”

After the reporters raised their public complaints about the situation, the Biden team stopped taking more questions and shut down the chat room. 

Sam Stein said on Twitter, “The Biden transition team appears to have disabled the public chat function on its transition zoom calls, a place where I and others had been routinely complaining to them to take more questions.”

Biden’s team did not make any comment on the situation despite stating last month that they value “transparency.” They also think that the press’ job is to hold Joe Biden “accountable” throughout his tenure. 

A spokesperson of Joe Biden also said that he also believes that although it is the media’s job to hold Joe Biden accountable, he stated that, “He’s there to do the people’s work and he welcomes that relationship. He welcomes their role, the media’s role in our democracy, and I think it will be, frankly, the polar opposite of what we’ve seen over the last four years…I think you’ll see a huge change in the culture in the way this White House treats the media.”

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