Though he should theoretically be one of the most seen and heard individuals in the entire world, President Joe Biden has been mysteriously silent in recent months, going more than 100 days without giving any sit-down interviews to mainstream media outlets, something which is especially strange, given the number of new crises – both here and abroad – that have emerged in that time.
As Fox News notes, the last time Biden granted a one-on-one discussion with a journalist was back on Feb. 10 during his pre-Super Bowl chat with Lester Holt of NBC News, and he also agreed to chats with liberal YouTuber Brian Tyler Cohen and historian Heather Cox Richardson, neither of which were likely to press the commander in chief very hard on key issues of the day.
It is worth noting that their discussion was a full two weeks prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a subject that has since occupied massive amounts of media coverage and resulting in billions of dollars in spending, but on which Biden has not answered in-depth questions in a formal interview setting. Nor has he made himself available for detailed queries on skyrocketing gas prices, the border crisis, or the baby formula shortage gripping the nation.
According to some, Biden’s conspicuous absence from the sort of interview frequency typically expected of American presidents is proof positive of White House fears about his ability to stay on message and on track.
Fox News contributor Joe Concha explained on Monday, “If you don’t do an interview in 102 days, that shows that [Biden’s] handlers are petrified he’ll say things like he just said about defending Taiwan, for example, because that requires a cleanup on aisle five,” a reference to the president’s statement this week in Asia that the U.S. would militarily defend Taiwan if attacked by China.
Concha continued, “You would think that the commander in chief would be sat down somewhere, anywhere, maybe somewhere friendly that could at least give him a platform. You just get the feeling that the president’s handlers now at this point think that it’s probably going to do more harm than good if he does an interview, and that’s pretty scary when you consider that again this is the leader of this country.”
Surely echoing the sentiments of millions, Concha concluded, “He should face questions and accountability, and they just don’t want to put him out there, for whatever reason.”
In response to criticisms of Biden’s unavailability to the press, former White House press secretary Jen Psaki claimed that the president was more than accessible to journalists by way of the informal questions he sometimes takes from reporters, but those provide no opportunity for expansion or follow-ups as a conventional interview might.
Considering the long and growing list of instances in which something Biden has said has required frantic scrambling on the part of his staff to clarify or reiterate administration policy, it is not at all surprising that his handlers keep him under lock and key, but that is a truly sad state of affairs for a nation that deserves so much more from the man who purports to lead it.