President Biden has faced criticism for not addressing growing corruption allegations in recent interviews, with many of his recent sit-downs with journalists focusing on other topics. Critics argue that Biden’s media appearances have been limited, and interviews have been granted to what they consider “friendly” interviewers.
Biden’s most recent interview with ex-CNN White House correspondent John Harwood, published on ProPublica, primarily discussed “threats to democracy.” Only one mention was made of the legal issues surrounding his son Hunter and the House Republican impeachment inquiry, which was framed as a question criticizing the GOP’s ability to govern.
Jeffrey McCall, a professor at DePauw University, believes that Biden’s handlers are actively shielding him from challenging interviews and the American public. They may be concerned about Biden making gaffes or off-the-cuff remarks during interviews, which could require cleanup by White House staff. McCall suggests that Biden should expand the range of outlets for his interviews to reach a broader audience.
Biden’s limited interviews in 2023 have often taken place in sympathetic settings, such as CNN, MSNBC, and PBS, which some critics argue only reinforce the perception of a protective media strategy. Interviews have rarely touched on the corruption allegations surrounding Hunter Biden and the IRS whistleblower claims.
Critics have also noted that the questions in Biden’s recent interviews have not addressed various controversies, including his dog’s behavior, inconsistencies in mask-wearing, and comments made during overseas trips. There is a perception that the president avoids interviews that might be challenging or where he could be pressed on these issues.
McCall suggests that the Biden administration’s reluctance to expose the president to challenging interviews risks creating a perception that he cannot handle rigorous questioning. It could contribute to the narrative that Biden is being shielded from critical scrutiny.
Overall, there is concern among some observers that President Biden’s media strategy involves limited interviews and a preference for “friendly” interviewers, which they argue undermines transparency and accountability.