A New York Times reporter challenged a White House spokesperson on the Biden administration’s commitment to bipartisan “unity.”
The moment: Michael Shear, the Times’ White House correspondent, posed the question to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki during a press conference on Thursday.
President Joe Biden has vowed to restore a “bipartisan approach” to governance with his term in office.
- “If there’s this call for unity that the President made in his speech yesterday, but there has so far been almost no fig leaf even to the Republican Party,” Shear told Psaki,
- As evidence for his assertion, Shear pointed to the absence of Republican cabinet members in Biden’s administration, executive orders aimed at “erasing as much of the Trump legacy as you can with executive orders,” and immigration and COVID relief bills that are unpopular with Republicans.
- “Where is the — where is the actual action behind this idea of bipartisanship?,” he asked. “And when are we going to see one of those, you know, sort of, substantial outreaches that says, ‘This is something that, you know, the Republicans want to do, too’?”
Psaki responded by citing Biden’s push for unemployment benefits and the reopening of schools, two issues presumably on Republicans’ wish-lists.
Double standard? The media has faced criticism from conservatives and some liberals for its purportedly fawning coverage of the Biden administration, which has contrasted sharply with the four years of adversarial reporting on Donald Trump’s administration.
- “Washington’s public works department should have built an emergency system of drainage ditches, culverts and tunnels to divert into the Potomac River the torrents of praise, approval and adoration the press poured down on President Joe Biden on Inauguration Day,” wrote Politico’s Jack Shafer.
- Pulitzer-winning independent journalist Glenn Greenwald compared CNN’s coverage of Biden’s inauguration unfavorably to “North Korean TV.”.
Meanwhile, more than half of Americans think journalists deliberately exaggerate or speak falsehoods to mislead people.