White House Communications Team Hits Some Turbulence

Peter Himler
3 min readFeb 2, 2021

Did @PressSec’s Staff Seek Journalists’ Questions in Advance?

Jen Psaki (MANDEL NGAN | Credit: AFP via Getty Images)

I suppose it’s all relative. Compared to the horrific daily White House press briefings of the last four years — when there were any — the transparent and truthful approach of President Biden’s new Press Secretary Jen Psaki and her team is a breath of fresh air. Didn’t I read that reporters for the faux news orgs OAN, Sinclair, and NewsMax were considered persona non grata by this new communications team? If so, good for @PressSec (and good for all Americas)! As VF’s The Hive reports:

Other members of the pro-Trump media are, however, still pursuing access to Joe Biden’s White House. Eric Bolling, a former Fox News host who has used his platform on the Sinclair Broadcast Group to spread misinformation about the coronavirus and who enjoyed, like many members of the conservative media, a close relationship with the Trump White House, has recently submitted his paperwork to join the WHCA, Politico reports.

Nonetheless, in typical fashion, the news media’s propensity for both sides-ism has reared its ugly head in a new report by The Daily Beast, which alleges that the Biden communications team had the audacity to ask for reporters’ questions in advance.

According to three sources with knowledge of the matter, as well as written communications reviewed by The Daily Beast, the new president’s communications staff have already on occasion probed reporters to see what questions they plan on asking new White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki when called upon during briefings.

First of all, most bona fide news organizations will refuse to provide specific questions in advance of a presser or a one-on-one interview. In my experience, however, it is not…

Peter Himler

Founder, Flatiron Communications; President, PCNY; Editor, Medium; Blessed w/ 3 exceptional sons & a most fabulous wife; Music & tech; Maker of the sauce. #NYC