The controversy over Biden not holding a formal press conference, explained

“While he’s answered questions from reporters in informal settings numerous times and held a CNN town hall, Biden has now gone 50 days without holding a formal news conference. It’d be ideal for him to do one, but there are many good reasons he hasn’t yet — the urgent public health and economic crises he inherited, a pandemic that complicates logistics, and the legacy former President Donald Trump left him of presidential news conferences doubling as hate spectacles.

Still, it’s starting to aggravate members of the press corps, with the president of the White House Correspondents Association telling Vanity Fair that full press conferences are “critical to informing the American people and holding an administration accountable.” And the Washington Post editorial board wrote that “it’s past time for Biden to hold a news conference” — even while acknowledging that more press availability didn’t equal more truth or transparency with the previous president.

The careful wording of the Post’s editorial board exemplifies how journalists are having to reevaluate relationships to power and what it means to do adversarial journalism now that the White House isn’t the home of a habitual liar who routinely made reporters objects of hate, even while he was accessible to them with regular helicopter-side press availabilities and coronavirus press briefings that are best remembered for Trump floating the idea of disinfectant as a cure for Covid-19.

But on the cable network that benefited most from the Trump presidency, all of that nuance is lost.

Fox News has done its best in recent days to blow up the fact Biden hasn’t yet had a formal news conference into a major scandal, complete with special graphics and coverage across shows suggesting Biden is hiding something.”

“While it’s true that Biden has broken from modern precedent in not holding a news conference sometime in his first month in office, press secretary Jen Psaki answers questions from reporters every weekday during briefings that illustrate one of the reasons Biden might not be in a rush to do one himself.

Fox News’s Peter Doocy has distinguished himself during Psaki’s briefings by regularly asking loaded, gotcha-style questions on topics ranging from the national anthem to the Olympics to energy policy to school reopenings.”

Trump exploited a broken press. Here’s how to fix it.

“Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden was confronted by a CBS reporter as he stepped off a plane. “What is your response to the New York Post story about your son, sir?”

To his credit, Biden dismissed the question, but that’s not really the point. The story the reporter was referencing, which was peddled to the Post by Rudy Giuliani, is absolute bullshit. The staff journalist who wrote the story even reportedly refused to put his name on the byline out of concerns that it was bogus and unreliable.”

“the goal of people like Giuliani was to get the press to cover a story not in order to convince people that it’s true, but to amplify a false narrative and divert attention — and maybe drive the public to exhaustion. It’s a strategy that Steve Bannon colorfully dubbed “flooding the zone with shit.””

NBC News’ Chuck Todd Admits He Was ‘Naive’ About GOP’s ‘Misinformation’ Campaign

“Three years after Kellyanne Conway introduced the doctrine of ‘alternative facts’ on his own program, a light went on for Chuck Todd,” Jay Rosen wrote. “Republican strategy, he now realized, was to make stuff up, spread it on social media, repeat it in your answers to journalists — even when you know it’s a lie with crumbs of truth mixed in — and then convert whatever controversy arises into go-get-em points with the base, while pocketing for the party a juicy dividend: additional mistrust of the news media to help insulate President Trump among loyalists when his increasingly brazen actions are reported as news.”