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Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s transition team continues to frustrate reporters by shutting them out and refusing to allow them to ask questions during virtual press conferences.
On Wednesday, journalists complained that the transition team disabled the chat function during a Zoom conference call.
“The Biden transition team appears to have disabled the public chat function on its transition zoom calls, a place where I and others had been routinely complaining to them to take more questions,” Politico’s incoming White House editor Sam Stein posted on Twitter.
The Biden transition team appears to have disabled the public chat function on its transition zoom calls, a place where I and others had been routinely complaining to them to take more questions.
— Sam Stein (@samstein) December 30, 2020
Instead, reporters were relegated to using a “raise hand” function in order to let the transition team know they had a question to ask.
So, Biden team, if you’re on Twitter while doing the Zoom…. Be sure to take a lot of questions. https://t.co/YTlz9VPDJ3
— Sam Stein (@samstein) December 30, 2020
Earlier this month, reporters expressed frustration with the Biden team during a weekly briefing in which they were not able to ask questions about Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden, and his reported business connections to foreign governments including China and Russia.
The transition team reportedly limited the number of journalists who could ask questions and appeared to purposely ignore any questions that appeared too probing or critical during a Zoom call that came just a few days after Hunter Biden revealed he was under investigation for “tax affairs.”
During the call, the transition team only called on five reporters representing The New York Times, PBS, Politico, CNN, and The Washington Post, none of which could be considered critical of the former vice president.
Fox News reported that its journalist and those of other right-leaning outlets were ignored, the cable outlet reported.
“Hey guys, there are tons of folks looking to ask questions and since this is being done once a week, could we PLEASE go longer or at least hold more frequent briefings,” Stein wrote in the Zoom chat function during the Dec. 18 briefing.
“Is there a point in saying we want to ask questions if you only call on the same small group every week?” White House reporter Andrew Feinberg asked.
Last month, Biden’s campaign press rep, T. J. Ducklo, told CNN that the former vice president thinks “transparency is incredibly important” as it pertains to his relationship with the media.
“He also believes, though, that it’s the media’s job to hold him accountable,” Ducklo added. “He’s there to do the people’s work and he welcomes that relationship.
“He welcomes their role, the media’s role in our democracy and I think it will be, frankly, the polar opposite of what we’ve seen over the last four years… I think you’ll see a huge change in the culture in the way this White House treats the media,” he continued.
Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy, who has been covering Biden throughout his truncated presidential campaign, attempted to ask about his son during an in-person brief Dec. 11.
“Did Hunter Biden commit a cream? Have you spoken to your son, Mr. President-elect?” Doocy asked.
Biden largely ignored the inquiry, responding weakly, “I’m proud of my son.”
In October, the New York Post reported a number of potentially damaging revelations regarding Hunter Biden based on materials recovered from a laptop he allegedly dropped off for repairs at a Delaware computer repair shop and then abandoned.
Several larger media organizations either ignored the Post’s reports or attempted to debunk them.
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