CNN analyst Scott Jennings criticized the media for adoring President Joe Biden’s humor at the White House Correspondents’ dinner on Saturday.
The room — full of journalists, media executives, and other celebrities — repeatedly broke into laughter when Biden joked about Fox News, Tucker Carlson, Elon Musk, Don Lemon, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), Rupert Murdoch, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, and, of course, himself.
Jennings did, however, highlight one joke which should not have been laughed at by the media. This joke was:
This dinner is a good summary of my first two years as president. I will talk for ten minutes, answer zero questions and then cheerfully leave.
Jennings said, “For the journalists present: They didn’t laugh with you, they laughed at you.”
“I think he is mocking the media,” he said. He explained that the guy doesn’t take questions, and is up there making jokes about it. “And they are clapping, and they are laughing about it.” “I don’t think he should — I am pro-reporter and I believe that the President of the United States should have to speak to these journalists and not mock them.”
It’s true. Biden is not available to journalists.
Biden’s participation in news conferences has been limited since he became president. According to the American Presidency Project, UC-Santa Barbra data, he has only participated in 23 press conferences, of which 12 were joint conferences. Only 11 of his press conferences have been solo, and he hasn’t done any in 2023.
Biden, to be fair, has had more than 300 exchanges with journalists, which by their nature are informal and frequent. Biden is often asked questions by reporters as he leaves or enters the White House, or when he chooses to respond to questions shouted at him.
John Berman’s reaction proved what Jennings said: the media has a cozy, uncritical relationship with Biden.
“How did it compare to the speeches that Donald Trump gave at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner?” Berman responded. “He didn’t give them. He didn’t show.”
Trump did not attend the White House Correspondents’ dinner as president. This is likely because of his hostile relationship with the media. Trump attended the dinner in 2011 when he wasn’t president, and became the subject of Barack Obama’s jokes.