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As the White House criticises people questioning ‘journalist’ Sabrina Siddiqui, here are five occasions when President Biden was hostile to the media

Here are five instances where the President lashed out at the media and even called journalists' bast*rd' and 'son of a bi*ch'

On June 26 (local time), NSC Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby and Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre condemned the “harassment” of Wall Street Journal’s Sabrina Siddiqui for questioning Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a joint press meeting with President Biden.

On the question of so-called harassment, Kirby said, “We’re aware of the reports of that harassment. It’s unacceptable. And we absolutely condemn any harassment of journalists anywhere under any circumstances. That’s just — that’s completely unacceptable. And it’s antithetical to the very principles of democracy that — that — you’re right — were on display last week during the state visit.”

Reiterating Washington’s commitment towards freedom of the press, Jean-Pierre said, “We certainly condemn any efforts of intimidation or harassment of a journalist or any journalist that is just trying to do their job.”

While the White House has “condemned” the backlash Siddiqui is facing for asking a propaganda-filled question in an attempt to corner PM Modi during his official state visit to the US, it is pertinent to note that President Biden himself has been hostile to media on several occasions. Here are five instances where the President lashed out at the media and even called journalists’ bast*rd’ and ‘son of a bi*ch’.

‘What a stupid son of a bi*ch’ – President Biden

On January 24, 2022 (local time), President Joe Biden snapped at a Fox News reporter and made an expletive-laden remark when quizzed over inflation. The incident took place during an event at the White House after Biden had made a prepared speech about tackling inflation and addressing supply-chain issues.

Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asked, “Do you think inflation is a political liability (ahead of the midterms)?” Instead of answering the question posed to him, Joe Biden went on to abuse the journalist. “That’s a great asset. More inflation. What a stupid son of a b**ch (SOB),” he said.

‘Indian press is much better behaved than the American media’

On September 24, 2021, during the first in-person bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Biden said that Indian press is much better behaved than the American media. He was hosting PM Modi at the Oval Office in the White House. Shortly after they greeted each other. President Biden said, “I think what they’re going to do is bring in the press. The Indian press is much better behaved than the American press. And I think, with your permission, we should not answer questions because they won’t ask any questions on point.”

Biden accused journalist of asking a ‘Dumb question’

On June 15, 2023, (local time) President Joe Biden snapped at a reporter for asking a question about why he was being referred to as the ‘big guy’ in Ukraine’s FBI informant file. The Post’s reporter asked, “Why did the Ukraine FBI informant file refer to you as the ‘big guy’, President Biden? Why is that term continuously applied?” The President lost his cool and said, “Why do you ask such a dumb question?”

For those who are unaware, he is referred to as the ‘big guy’ in the June 2020 informant file. Later, The Post reported that the abandoned laptop of his first son Hunter Biden had an email from May 2017 that referred to him as the Big Guy and suggested that he was due a 10 per cent cut in the business deal with CEFC China Energy.

Biden tells a journalist- ‘Give me a break, man’

On February 13, 2023, President Biden walked out of a press meeting after he was asked by The Post reporter if he was compromised by his “family’s business relationships in China”. While walking out, he looked at the reporter and said, “Give me a break, man” with a dismissive laugh.

When The Post reporter added, “Does your son still co-own a company with Chinese government entities?”, President Biden made a hand gesture towards the reporter and said, “You can come to my office and ask a question when you have more polite people with you.”

President Biden tells a reporter- What a stupid question

In January 2022, before Russia initiated military action against Ukraine, President Biden was asked by Fox News reporter Jacqui Heinrich why he was waiting on Russian President Vladimir Putin to make the first move. She asked, “Why are you waiting on [Russian President Vladimir] Putin to make the first move, sir?” To which, Biden replied, “What a stupid question.”

President Biden has a long history of making the situation uncomfortable for reporters. With such a track record, it is appalling to see the White House feel the necessity to speak about press freedom and harassment of journalists.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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