An article published in Politico on Monday claimed that right-wing journalists are seeking to sow chaos during White House press briefings as the Biden administration decides how to structure their press conferences.
The article criticized the Trump administration for being too cozy with conservative media outlets while the administration lambasted more liberal-leaning organizations, most notably The New York Times and CNN.
According to the article, the White House does not seek to oust conservative media from the press room, but those "who traffic in conspiracy theories, propaganda and lies to spread disinformation will not be tolerated, and we’ll work with the WHCA to decide how to handle those instances moving forward." How these terms will be defined and applied was not specified.
While the Biden administration will likely face intense pushback from conservative journalists, many have criticized left-leaning reporters for being too soft on the new administration. Early questions from liberal journalists included inquiries into the color scheme of Air Force One and Biden's mood on inauguration day, not exactly hardball questions.
"It was an embarrassment for the press corps," said Sean Spicer, the former Trump press secretary who now hosts his own show on the right-wing outlet Newsmax.
The article notes that the White House is "sensitive" to claims that the press corp will be too easy on Biden, but suggested that they are seeking to balance this out by including journalistic outlets such as Breitbart.
Including right-wing outlets is also a method for the Biden administration tor each out to the opposite side of the political spectrum, with the article's authors noting that the Biden presidential campaign placed ads on Fox News at certain times of the day.
"The downside to that is you are kind of legitimizing some of these outlets that have acted horribly and they obviously will go out of their way to smear Biden the rest of the time," said Tim Miller, a Republican media operative who became a so-called "never Trumper."
The article, however, makes little mention of the contentious White House press briefings held under the Trump administration until the White House decided to cancel their daily press briefings. The mainstream media had a notoriously hostile relationship with Trump, a relationship which extended in both directions. It is unclear what evidence there is that right-wing media outlets will treat Biden with similar vitriol. However, for the Biden administration, "conspiracy theories" may become the new "fake news."
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