Kayleigh McEnany had a difficult job in the Trump administration. And now the same can be said for Jen Psaki in the Biden administration. It’s less about the person and more about the role.
White House press secretary briefings are unproductive time-wasters and should be eliminated.
The purpose of the daily briefing is to inform voters on important issues. The reality is that it gives reporters too much time to showboat, giving little consideration to what the American public desires to know. Reporters, friendly to the administration, lob cute, softball questions. Others, gunning for the president, ask gotcha questions. We all know that they’ve all taken sides. They’re either for the president or against him. The biased media is only there to prove what they think they already know, not to learn and uncover new information that will help our country.
In the reporters’ defense, it’s tough to learn something new at the briefings. It’s not the Psaki administration, and she doesn’t have the freedom to go off script. She’d be fired if she did that. The press secretary serves at the pleasure of the president. He was elected. She was not. The press briefings will always be some type of regurgitation of a policy coming from President Joe Biden. There aren’t usually a lot of new insights.
Voters want to hear from the one they elected—Biden, not Psaki.
The better way to provide the people with more useful information is to go straight to the president.
That, of course, requires access.
Former President Donald Trump had a tumultuous relationship with the press. The media hammered him, and he was perfectly capable of returning fire. But it never interfered with accessibility. Again and again, he showed up. Each day was a new day to ask questions and get answers. It seemed that every time Trump left the White House, he was engaging with reporters.
It’s a better model than press secretary briefings. So let’s do away with those and replace them with the expectation that every time the president leaves the White House, he must spend a minimum of 15 minutes answering reporters’ questions.
Leaving for Camp David? Heading to Detroit to tour a Ford plant? Going golfing? Spending time with the Carters in Georgia? It’s all good. But not before you face a watchdog press that’s there to bring transparency to the American people about tax increases, the deficit, the illegal immigration crisis, rising crime rates, the increase in gas prices, foreign policy concerns, and more. That, Mr. President, is your job. Your answers or non-answers to questions you don’t know are coming, until they’re leveled at you, will tell us a lot.
And it shouldn’t be a difficult 15 minutes. It’s easy to tell the truth.
A bonus to this format is the scarcity of time provided. If the press knew they were getting limited time, maybe they’d ask more pertinent questions on issues vital to voters.
Of course, there is a flaw to a system like this. In order for it to work effectively, the president must actually leave the White House on a regular basis. Trump was always on the move, so it wasn’t a problem. Biden, on the other hand, proved during the campaign that he’s pretty good at holing up at home for long periods of time.
His home now is the White House, an even better place to hole up.
If you didn’t want to face the press. Or the American people.
2 thoughts on “Eliminate daily press briefings and make president more accessible”
To be fair 45 was not accessible because of some grandiose commitment to transparency, but rather because he was an attention whore.
And yes there is an interesting mix of reporters at these things with their own agendas, but let’s be happy we live in a country that permits reporters on either side of the political bias spectrum to pursue those agendas.The system isn’t broke. There is no shortage of information to the public about #46’s agenda.
From a casual outside observer it appears as though your format Is intentionally designed to put an individual in front of a camera as often as possible in an informal setting, so that when they eventually misspeak (and at some point everyone does), the conservative right finally has something to feed to pitch fork nation?
You want to judge 46? Fine judge him on his action, but not on some half thought out statement he gives on the way to doing the important work of a president.
Thanks for the feedback Justin! A couple of things. I do wish we could go back to the days when reporters were reporters and not opinion writers. We might not ever get back there. And I don’t think it’s too much to ask the leader of the free world to do many things well, including thinking on his feet when communicating with the press and the public.