- The Washington Times
Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Many eyes are now on the prospect of President Biden‘s debut press conference Thursday — so many that SportsBetting.ag, an international wagering house, is now taking bets on what color tie Mr. Biden will wear, what topics he’ll address first and whether or not he will “commit a political gaffe,” in the words of the organization.

The press, meanwhile, appears to believe that it’s all about, well, the press.


Biden‘s first news conference is a test for him. But it’s a bigger test for White House reporters,” noted Washington Post columnist Margaret Sullivan.

“For the White House press corps, there’s also a temptation to play to the crowd. Every TV reporter has to be thinking about the 10-second clip of their question that might be used on Thursday’s newscast, establishing them as the star du jour who bravely challenged the president,” she said.

Yes, who could forget the melodrama that often unfolded among certain reporters during former President Donald Trump‘s time on the podium?

“Big test for Biden is also a test for the media,” noted CNN political analyst Joe Lockhart, who served as press secretary for former President Bill Clinton.

“The White House press corps needs to adjust to the new president. The rules that evolved around for President Donald Trump should not be applied to Biden. Some in the White House press corps have figured that out. Some have not. The press conference will be a national event on how the press treats the new president,” Mr. Lockhart observed.

“Distrust of the media is very high in our country and an overly aggressive or obnoxious press corps may do more to damage journalism than the president. Asking tough questions in a respectful way, allowing the president to answer and not trying to make yourself the story instead of the president will be the standard I’ll be watching for,” he said.

Then there’s this suggestion:

“President Biden should appoint Meghan Markle as his press secretary,” columnist Peter Lucas wrote in the Lowell Sun in Massachusetts.

“He could startle the world — including the United Kingdom — by making the announcement at his long-awaited first press conference as president on Thursday. All he needs to do is not fall down when he reads the teleprompter. Do not smirk. At this point, Meghan — the foxy Duchess of Sussex — has held more press conferences than the president, and gotten more favorable coverage,” Mr. Lucas advised.

A LITTLE HELP FROM HIS FRIENDS

Yes, former President Barack Obama and President Biden remain chummy.

“They were not just president and vice president. They are friends. They consult and talk about a range of issues and I would expect that continues through the course of President Biden‘s presidency,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told curious reporters this week.

MEANWHILE IN NORTH KOREA

North Korea recently tested two short-range missiles, according to press reports — including a CNN account which reported that President Biden “laughed off” the idea that the U.S. should be concerned about the event.

So is the situation something to giggle about? For insight, we turn to Harry Kazianis, the Center for the National Interest’s senior director of Korean studies.

“North Korea surely has as a sense that the Biden administration will try and rebuild a strong sanctions regime with the intended goal of putting more pressure on the Kim regime. Pyongyang, through these new missile tests, is signaling to team Biden that its military capabilities will continue to get more potent with each passing day,” Mr. Kazianis says.

“Even with a pandemic and international sanctions still in place, North Korea still can cause the death of millions of people in minutes, and any missile test of any range or scope only reinforces such a terrifying reality,” he adds.

NOW THERE’S A THOUGHT

So the disturbing saga along the border between the U.S. and Mexico continues. Some have choice words for President Biden, along with keen observations about former President Donald Trump‘s experiences on the matter.

Biden‘s border policy: Virtue signaling for Dummies,” writes Roger L. Simon, a columnist for The Epoch Times.

Joe Biden and whoever is advising him or telling him what to do — I’ll let others surmise — absolutely knew that if Donald Trump was doing it, it had to be wrong. Trump bad. Democrats good. Everybody knows that,” Mr. Simon writes.

“The Democrats will save the children, the tired and poor of Central America, the ‘huddled masses yearning to breathe free.’ Only the opposite is and was true. That policy — if you could even begin to call it that — is and was ‘virtue signaling’ almost at its purest. The reality is despicable,” Mr. Simon observes.

“What really happens from the Democrats’ quasi open-borders policy is a disaster both for the United States and the benighted Central American countries these illegals are fleeing,” he says.

FOXIFIED

During the week of March 15-21, Fox News bested the cable news competition throughout the day and in prime-time, according to Nielsen Media Research. Fox News enjoyed a prime-time audience of 2.3 million, followed by MSNBC (1.7 million) and CNN (1.1 million.)

Tucker Carlson Tonight” delivered the highest-rated cable news program in all categories with 3 million viewers topping such broadcast competition as CBS’s “Face the Nation” and NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

POLL DU JOUR

76% of U.S. homeowners have at least one task “that they dread.”

54% have made improvements to their home since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

52% have become “more involved” in taking care of their home in the past year.

52% spent money on home office equipment, including upgraded Wi-Fi and video conferencing equipment.

44% have purchased “smart home products” in the past year.

33% have a home maintenance checklist or routine they follow annually.

Source: A Survey by Hippo, a home-insurance group, of 1,000 U.S. homeowners conducted Feb. 12-17 and released Wednesday.

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