Thursday, March 25, 2021


Sixty-four days after his inauguration, Joe Biden will hold his first presidential press conference this afternoon. We've heard the wails and lamentations of every elite D.C. journalist on this subject, but most of the citizenry is not particularly troubled by Biden's delay, according to YouGov.
More than a third of the country (37%) thinks the current President waited too long.... One in four (25%) don’t have an opinion on the timing.

So 37% think he waited too long, 38% (32% + 6%) think it was fine that he waited this long, and 63% (32% + 6% + 25%) are unfazed by the fact that he waited this long.

Let me remind you that when a Republican does something like this, it's regarded as a sign of his mighty power and consummate skill as a politician and GOP Daddy. Here's a passage from the billion-word feature story on Ron DeSantis that Politico ran last week:
I wanted to see DeSantis—but DeSantis didn’t really want to see me.

He consistently does not give the media ample notice concerning his schedule. What other politicians release days in advance DeSantis’ staff routinely holds back—until the last minute. And what this persistent ploy meant for me last week was that I basically was chasing DeSantis around a state that can take eight, 10, 12 hours to transit from top to bottom. I was in Tampa—a choice because of its centrality. The governor’s aides knew I was in Tampa. And one morning I got a text message from Shane Strum, his chief of staff, saying DeSantis would be having a press conference at 1:30.


“Lehigh Acres.”

I think Strum thought he was doing me a favor. It was 11:36, after all, and the official announcement wasn’t blasted in an email to reporters until 11:44. But Lehigh Acres, down by Fort Myers, was at least two and a half hours away.

“Drive safely,” Strum texted.

I drove ... fast. I arrived at 1:55. A few local TV reporters were packing up.

The governor had come and gone. I texted Strum. “Sorry to hear you didn’t make it,” he said.

DeSantis does nothing by accident. On that there is unanimity among everybody who’s ever known him or worked with him that I’ve ever talked to....

It’s not the job of the governor or his assistants to make reporters’ existences in any way any easier. And DeSantis doesn’t sink to Trump’s name-calling, but his relationship with the media is sandpapery at best, and this lets him limit his exposure to reporters with the exception of the (sadly dwindling) local press.
I highlighted that one sentence because it's what you're not hearing about Biden, and you'll never hear it about a Democrat. (One possible exception: pre-2021 Andrew Cuomo.) Democrats aren't supposed to wield power proudly. If they mistreat or manipulate the press, it's a scandal. If a Republican does it, he's just demonstrating the consummate political skills that have people talking about a future White House run.

I assume Ron DeSantis will be our next president, and while I dread that prospect, I don't care if he ever holds a press conference -- I expect to despise everything he does, and to be far more upset about the bills and executive orders he signs than about whether Jim Acosta gets to ask him a question on TV.

Reporters have many ways to gather the news. The press conference is just one of them, and it's not of the more effective ones. Press conferences are far more important to the media than they are to the general public.


UPDATE: Or to put it another way...

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