Biden admin faces criticism for not holding briefings over holiday weekend

May 29, 2023
Robert Ayers

Fox News reports that the White House Correspondents' Association (WHCA) just rebuked the administration of President Joe Biden for not holding press briefings throughout the Memorial Day weekend. 

The association, before the weekend, took issue with the lack of scheduled press briefings considering the then-ongoing negotiations between Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) regarding the debt ceiling.

At the time of this writing, Biden and McCarthy have reached a deal on the debt ceiling.

But, this does not change the overall point of Fox's report, which is to highlight what has become a hallmark of the Biden administration: its lack of transparency.

"Four days in the midst of a political crisis, without a briefing"

Fox's report reveals that WHCA President and NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith tried unsuccessfully to get the Biden White House to hold press briefings on Friday and throughout the Memorial Day weekend.

In a statement provided to Fox, Keith said, "The WHCA board pushed hard for the White House to hold a briefing on Friday or potentially over the weekend given the intense interest in the high stakes debt ceiling negotiations and the risk that the US economy could go over a cliff."

Keith, however, goes on to say that the White House refused.

"The White House was not persuaded by our argument that the public deserves to see them answer questions," Keith said.

Keith concluded by pointing out the context: "Monday is a federal holiday, which means there could be four days in the midst of a political crisis, without a briefing."

The White House's response

The Biden White House has repeatedly faced criticism for a lack of transparency throughout the entirety of Biden's tenure as president, so this is not that surprising.

Also not surprising is how White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Olivia Dalton responded following Keith's public statement, namely, by insisting that the administration is transparent.

"The briefing is one mechanism through which we share information with the press but not the only one," Dalton said. "The team is constantly available – 7 days a week – to answer questions from the press about developments in the news."

Dalton went on to attempt to show how transparent the administration has been regarding the debt ceiling issue. Noticeably, however, Dalton's response does not address Keith's chief criticism: the lack of Memorial Day weekend press conferences.

Accordingly, Dalton's statement comes off as unconvincing and even a bit desperate.

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