Officially, President Biden has been gone for over 100 days without any interviews with mainstream media. During this time, a variety of crises and new debates have gripped the nation and the world.
Biden’s last media interview was on February 10, with Lester Holt of NBC. This was his only interview with a mainstream journalist until 2022. This interview was conducted two weeks prior to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
Holt and Biden discussed, among other things, Democratic governors and state coronavirus policies. They also covered the “tense standoff” between Russia and Ukraine at that time, the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, inflation, and many other topics.
Biden’s only other interviews since then were two friendly sit-downs with Heather Cox Richardson (historian) and Brian Tyler Cohen (progressive YouTube host).
Concha pointed out that 2022 is an election-year and Democrats are facing a potentially disastrous November, according to recent polls.
Biden’s first year of office had seen him give fewer media interviews than ever before. This trend has continued into his second year. According to data from Towson University’s White House Transition project, Biden has done only 23 interviews with the media between January 20-21 and April 29 2022. This compares to Donald Trump’s 95 interview and Barack Obama’s total of 187.
Jen Psaki, former White House Press Secretary, repeatedly dismissed criticisms that Biden does not do enough interviews. She pointed to the spontaneous questions he often takes from reporters every day. These spontaneous conversations with the media rarely give the president the opportunity to answer follow-up questions as a sit-down interview would.
Biden has faced major challenges since his last media interview. These include the Russia-Ukraine conflict, record inflation, looming worries of a recession and the crisis at the southern border.
Biden’s media blackout included another story about the leak of a majority draft opinion that would overturn Roe V. Wade. A memo from the Department of Homeland Security warns of violence that could break out in the event the landmark abortion ruling is overturned.
Legacy media outlets that have covered his son Hunter Biden’s tax affairs are also focusing on him.
Biden’s remarks to journalists, especially his off-the-cuff comments, have still been a major topic of conversation. The White House quickly rebuffed the statement by the president in March that Russian President Vladimir Putin could not remain in power.
The president made viral remarks earlier this month when he spoke of “the old days” where he shared meals with “real segregationists”, while also lamenting the lack bipartisanship on Capitol Hill.