- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 1, 2022

It’s been 112 days since President Biden had his last sit-down interview with the press.

It’s clear to everyone not working at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue that Mr. Biden’s handlers are uncomfortable allowing the leader of the free world to speak freely, without their notes or reading the words they wrote in a teleprompter. Equally clear is the lack of curiosity from those covering the White House of who really is running our country — because it certainly isn’t the man who supposedly received 81 million votes in November 2020.

On Tuesday, NBC News, citing “interviews with more than two dozen current and former administration officials, lawmakers, congressional aides and other Democrats close to the White House,” reported that Mr. Biden is “unhappy” about the multiple times when he makes a clear and succinct statement only to have his underlings “rush to explain something else.”

The staff clean-up operation happens almost daily. On Monday, Newsweek reported, “The White House appears to be walking back President Joe Biden’s remarks that the U.S. will not send long-range rocket systems into Ukraine.”

“We’re not going to send Ukraine rocket systems that can strike into Russia,” Mr. Biden told reporters on the South Lawn on Monday.

“Following his remarks, a senior administration official said there has been no decision yet on sending multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) to Ukraine,” Newsweek detailed.

Last week, Mr. Biden — again — publicly committed the U.S. to come to the defense of Taiwan should China attack, the third time he said it in less than a year, and the third time unnamed White House officials immediately walked his remarks back and insisted there has been no change in the longstanding, more ambiguous U.S. policy.

And then, infamously, there was the March visit to Poland, when Mr. Biden said offhandedly that Russian President Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power” given his decision to invade Ukraine. Within minutes the clear presidential pronouncement was retracted by White House aides, who insisted that U.S. policy called for no such thing.

When NBC asked the White House about the staff’s practice of clarifying and contradicting the president’s remarks, one official said: “We don’t say anything that the president doesn’t want us to say.”

So, in the same report where NBC was saying the president was “furious that his remarks were being seen as unreliable, arguing that he speaks genuinely,” his staff was saying otherwise.

Again, who is really running this administration?

It seems the press should be openly investigating this question and stop giving cover to unnamed White House sources — who apparently have more say in national and international politics than the president of the United States. It’s also time they demand more transparency from the White House and request an on-the-record interview with Mr. Biden, who has not done a sit-down with the press since Feb. 10.

But, alas, this will never come to pass. Reporters, who allowed Mr. Biden to campaign from his basement and excuse his weekly retreats as president to his home in Delaware, have too much skin in the game to expose him now. Plus, they’re ideologically aligned with whoever is running the show in the administration.

NBC detailed in its report how Mr. Biden feels Republicans aren’t getting enough blame for legislative gridlock in Congress, that he is frustrated about not getting enough credit from Americans or the news media for the actions he’s done to help the country, and how he believes not enough fellow Democrats have been out on television defending him.

You see, it’s just a “communications problem” as to why more than 70% of Americans think the country is on the wrong track, why Mr. Biden’s poll numbers are plummeting, and why he’s losing support from suburban women and minority voters. The mainstream media have always viewed their job as helping Mr. Biden out in this regard. If Mr. Biden fails, then they fail, too.

In December, the White House was “working behind the scenes” with the media to get better headlines on the economy and the supply chain crisis, according to CNN’s “Reliable Sources.” CNN then followed up with its own report about how the White House is “absolutely right” to have grievances about coverage of Mr. Biden’s time in office. The Washington Post ran a column headlined “The media treats Biden as badly as — or worse than — Trump,” which was tweeted by Mr. Biden’s White House chief of staff Ron Klain, who captioned his post, “Submitted for your consideration.”

The mainstream media have also repeatedly tried to cover up America’s growing inflation concerns, regurgitating White House talking points.

In May 2021, when conservative news outlets were reporting on rising inflation — and when the White House was declaring it “transitory,” The Washington Post ran a column, “Don’t freak out about inflation yet.” In December, when it was becoming clear to all of us that inflation wasn’t indeed “transitory,” CNN posted an article titled, “Why inflation can actually be good for everyday Americans and bad for rich people.”

The list of examples goes on and on.

What’s scary is that as millions of families can’t feed their babies because of a formula shortage and others are being forced to choose between food or gas because of soaring prices, the White House and some in the media think it’s a “messaging” problem rather than a policy problem. If only we were to focus on how unemployment rates have dropped to below 4%. Ignore everything else — it isn’t their fault.

Speaking of unemployment, it’s clear that whoever is running things at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue needs to be fired. And so does everyone in the media who is doing Mr. Biden’s bidding and not being truthful with the American public.

• Kelly Sadler is the commentary editor for The Washington Times.

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