Reporters Express Frustration With Biden Over Christmas Parties: 'Petty Blacklisting'
Some reporters are not happy with President Joe Biden after they were left out of his media Christmas parties.
The New York Post noted Biden is holding events for TV teams on Dec. 8 and other reporters on Dec. 13.
According to the Post, journalists from outlets that usually attend briefings did not receive invites, “at least initially,” including Salon, Newsmax and the Washington Examiner.
One veteran White House reporter explained to the outlet, ”How many acts of petty blacklisting does this White House have to commit against accredited members of the news media before a consensus forms that President Biden is neither a champion of a free press, as he so frequently claims, nor a man of decency, as his supporters claim on his behalf?”
The reporter argued, “It’s not just civility. It’s also about democracy, really.”
The statement continues, “Out of his mouth, Biden espouses that the free press is the bedrock of democracy and he supports a free and independent media and it’s important for us to make sure that governments are held accountable. But it only seems to apply for governments outside the United States.”
Another veteran White House correspondent, who also spoke to the Post, said their outlet was regularly invited to the parties at least since the George W. Bush administration.
“This guest list is an example of how the White House is kind of taking punitive measures against journalists that are simply doing their job exactly as the president says, or claims, he supports and that’s what’s most infuriating. It’s doublespeak and it’s pure hypocrisy, in my view,” the correspondent said.
One veteran reporter suggested engaging in “petty partisan holiday invites is a sign of weakness, not strength … apparently this White House now has total disregard for protecting even the veneer of its promised transparency and respect for a truly free press.”
A White House spokesperson issued a statement on the festivities.
“We’re thrilled that, for the first time in five years, reporters will be welcomed back to the White House over the holidays. We have worked to be as inclusive as possible and expect to host hundreds of reporters from more than 150 outlets,” the spokesperson said.
The gatherings come just a year after it was announced the White House would be scaling back Christmas celebrations amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Anyone who knows the Bidens knows how much they enjoy hosting and celebrating the holidays. In the coming days, we will host a limited number of Holiday Open Houses, inviting guests to see the Christmas decorations in person at the White House,” the first lady’s spokesperson Michael LaRosa said at the time.
He added, “It is disappointing that we cannot host as many people as the Bidens would like to, but as we have done since Day 1 of the Biden Administration, we will continue to implement strong COVID protocols, developed in consultation with our public health advisors.”
Last week, the Bidens kicked off the holiday festivities with the lighting of the National Christmas Tree.
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