President Joe Biden’s term in the White House has been heralded by some supporters as the representation of a new era in congeniality between the press and the presidency following the combative relationship many reporters had with former President Donald Trump.
Nevertheless, it appears that Biden’s patience is wearing thin as he fields tough questions from members of a generally obsequious press pool.
“I want to talk about happy things”
According to the Washington Examiner, the president has increasingly resorted to snapping at reporters for asking questions he views as “negative” toward his administration.
Although he has a long history of openly expressing frustration with journalists, or even ordinary Americans, who ask questions he would prefer not to answer, the frequency of such outbursts has apparently been increasing lately. Earlier this month, he bristled at one reporter’s question about his controversial plan to completely withdraw all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan.
“I want to talk about happy things, man,” the president said before advising that he would not be taking any more questions on the topic.
Asked if he was worried about reports of a surge by the Taliban in Afghanistan, he declared: “I’m concerned that you guys are asking me questions that I’ll answer next week.”
Biden went on to insist that he would “answer all your negative questions” at a later date.
“You never ask a positive question”
About a week prior to that encounter, Biden was discussing a bipartisan infrastructure deal in the Senate when he accused a reporter of asking what he knew was “not a reasonable question” and berated the media more broadly for its critical take on the negotiation process.
While boarding Air Force One following his trip to Europe last month, Biden apologized for his snide remark to a reporter just hours earlier — but he could not resist slamming the media for its “negative” approach to every topic.
“Look, to be a good reporter, you got to be negative,” he claimed. “You got to have a negative view of life, OK? It seems to me, the way you all — you never ask a positive question.”
While it might not rise to the open hostility frequently espoused by Trump, the Examiner determined that Biden’s approach to the media is contrary to the “typically affable public image” his supporters seek to portray.
Media and political historian Brian Rosenwald explained that “there is a bit of a tug of war always going on” between the media and the White House, and it seems clear that Biden is not exempt.