5 face-palm worthy questions the press posed in 2021

Media analyst reacts to left-wing media’s worst moments of 2021

Beverly Hallberg, president of District Media Group, discusses comments from left-wing media personalities on critical race theory, border issues and the Waukesha parade tragedy.

Some liberal journalists and networks could not hide their giddiness over the dawn of the Biden administration, a trend which was made obvious by some pundits’ line of questioning this year.

“What do you think we get wrong?”

CNN’s Brian Stelter, whose Sunday show “Reliable Sources” struggled in the ratings for the better part of the year, conducted an interview with White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki that was described by some onlookers as “bootlicking.”

“Busy summer ahead – infrastructure, election reform. What does the press get wrong when covering Biden’s agenda? When you watch the news, when you read the news, what do you think we get wrong?” Stelter asked at the beginning of their interview in June.

“Some of our muscles have atrophied,” Psaki answered, suggesting that the media has forgotten how long it takes to get legislation passed when criticizing the administration.

“I don’t know if that’s the press getting it wrong,” she continued. “I’ll leave you to the critique of that, Brian.”

WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 10: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks to reporters in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on December 10, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The lighthearted exchange was not surprising to viewers who remembered how Stelter referred to Psaki’s presence in the briefing room as a “refreshing” shift from the prior administration.

“You spar a little bit with some of the president’s detractors, but I’m sure privately they give you grudging respect. How do you feel it’s going?”

Stelter was one of several media figures to fawn over Psaki. MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace also bonded with her guest in June, noting she too had once served on a president’s communications team in the George W. Bush White House, before asking Psaki how her tenure was going. She peppered her question with praise, telling Psaki that President Biden’s critics “respect” her behind-the-scenes.

“I’ve walked in similar shoes to the ones you walk in now,” Wallace said. “You get such high marks from the vast majority of the people in that room. You spar a little bit with some of the president’s detractors, but I’m sure privately they give you grudging respect. How do you feel it’s going?”

“It’s the job of reporters and members of the media to push me and push us when we need to give more information, when something doesn’t make sense and that’s part of democracy working in my view,” Psaki answered.

“Stand your ground is my only advice for you,” Wallace added.

“The perception of you that got you elected as a moral, decent man is the reason a lot of immigrants are coming to this country and are trusting you with unaccompanied minors”

In one of President Biden’s press conferences addressing the border crisis in March, PBS’ Yamiche Alcindor managed to sneak in a compliment for Biden about his “moral” compass. The border had seen a record surge in migrants, including thousands of unaccompanied minors.

“You’ve said over and over again that immigrants shouldn’t come to this country right now … That message is not being received,” Alcindor said. “Instead, the perception of you that got you elected as a moral, decent man is the reason a lot of immigrants are coming to this country and are trusting you with unaccompanied minors.”

CNN went with the cliché "Republicans pounce" to help describe why the ongoing inflation crisis is a disaster for President Biden. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

How, Alcindor asked, would Biden resolve that “tension” and choose which families could remain in the U.S.?

Biden responded that he felt “flattered” by the perception he’s a nice guy, but said nothing had changed in terms of migrants flocking to the border.

“It happens every single, solitary year,” he said.

“What should Democrats possibly do differently to avoid similar losses in November, especially since Republicans are now successfully running on culture wars issues and false claims about critical race theory?”

Alcindor features on the list a second time for another agenda-driven question, this time on critical race theory (CRT).

“What should Democrats possibly do differently to avoid similar losses in November, especially since Republicans are now successfully running on culture wars issues and false claims about critical race theory?” Alcindor asked Biden following Glenn Youngkin‘s win over Democrat Terry McAuliffe in Virginia. The battle had narrowed to a debate over education and whether parents should have the right to influence what their children are learning. Many parents found CRT to be unnecessarily divisive. 

Yet Alcindor’s line of questioning attacked CRT’s critics.

Biden didn’t bat an eye, saying Democrats should “produce for the American people” by passing his spending bill which he said would lower the cost of prescription drugs and daycare. 

“People need a little breathing room, they’re overwhelmed,” Biden told Alcindor. “And what happened was I think we have to just produce results for them in order to change their standard of living and give them a little more breathing room.”

Alcindor posed a follow-up question that again appeared to implicate Republicans opposed to CRT.

“What’s your message, though, to Democratic voters, especially Black voters, who see Republicans running on race and education, lying about critical race theory, and they’re worried that Democrats don’t have an effective way to push back on that?” Alcindor pressed.

“Well, I think that the whole answer is to just speak truth to that, lay out where we are,” Biden responded. 

“Mr. President, what did you order?”

The press caught up with Biden at the Honey Hut Ice Cream shop during a trip to Cleveland in May, eager to hear what he had ordered.

“Mr. President, what did you order?” a reporter asked Biden, who held up a stuffed ice cream cone outside Honey Hut Ice Cream in Cleveland.

“Chocolate chocolate chip,” he replied. His answer prompted cooing from the crowd.

President Joe Biden holds an ice cream cone as he visits Moomers Homemade Ice Cream, Saturday, July 3, 2021, in Traverse City, Mich. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Former President Trump noticed the media’s relaxed relationship with Biden during the 2020 campaign. 

“I go through these interviews and every question is a total kill … And this guy walks out holding ice cream and the press is out there, the fake news, and they say, ‘What kind of ice cream are you eating?’ — ‘Uh, uh, chocolate, and I think vanilla too. Ha’ — I say why don’t they ever ask me those questions, right?” Trump said at a rally a few days ahead of the general election.

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