Just Ask The Question News 7.8.22
Abortion, Jan. 6 and the current state of the media
Welcome back to the Just Ask the Question newsletter where we share insights on the White House and politics in general through podcast interviews, original articles and commentary.
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The Joe Biden reality show: Most stage-managed presidency in history keeps undermining itself
Democrats are increasingly itchy about a president who seems isolated and disconnected. But what's the alternative?
What a difference an administration makes.
Donald Trump had nothing to say and said it all the time.
President Joe Biden has more to say and rarely says it.
Or at least that's what a lot of his fellow Democrats seem to think.
Following the shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, on the Fourth of July, there is growing criticism from members of Biden's party, who accuse the president of not saying enough about this important issue. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre says Biden has approached the continuing gun violence issue with "passion" and "fury." Some of his fellow Democrats, however, have reportedly begun to doubt both of those. Some of that criticism comes from Congress, where it is obvious they mistake "fury" for action. It would also explain why Congress often seems so furious and yet takes so little action.
Biden has done himself no favors because even the press (which, until recently, was still in a honeymoon with the White House) says he continuously hides from the public. He's had just one full news conference at the White House — during the pandemic, with relatively few reporters present — and he routinely avoids putting himself in situations where the press can ask him questions…
Episode 130: Mary Trump - Will the Jan. 6 hearings lead to indictments?
Mary Trump joins Brian Karem to discuss whether or not the Jan. 6 hearings will lead to indictments.
Open Letter to the White House
Regarding Media Access to the Biden Administration
On April 8, I and a few other reporters forwarded to Press Secretary Jen Psaki a letter requesting better access to White House events.
Shortly thereafter Rose Garden events re-opened for the general press. But key events involving the president still remained locked behind a wall to which few in the press seemed to have the key. That facilitated another letter that I wrote, WHCA President Steve Portnoy edited and the New York Post's Steve Nelson helped circulate to our colleagues just prior to the 4th of July, 2022. (yes that was my intent.) Our first letter gathered fewer than 10 signatures, and alas I confess that's because I do not possess the "Whip" skills of Nelson who made sure he got it to as many reporters as possible. This time, as I write this, 69 reporters have signed on. Here's what was said and who signed it:
Dear Karine Jean-Pierre;
We once again respectfully request the Biden administration - without exception – re-open all of the traditional venues for presidential remarks at the White House, including the East Room and the South Court Auditorium, for any reporter admitted to the White House campus.
The current method of allowing a limited number of reporters into these events is not only restrictive and antithetical to the concept of a free press, but it has been done without any transparent process into how reporters are selected to cover these events. We are all left wondering who is making these decisions and what are the criteria on which they are based?
Episode 129: John Fugelsang - Jan. 6th, The Beatles and Matthew McConaughey?
John Fugelsang joins Brian to talk The Beatles, the Jan 6th hearings and Mathew McConaughey!
Did "surprise witness" Cassidy Hutchinson save America from Trump's comeback?
Hutchinson makes me more hopeful for America's future — and may have sent Trump scurrying into the shadows
I must confess that I've written things in the last two days I never thought I'd write — at least not in a work of nonfiction.
For example: In my most feverish nightmares I never dreamed I'd have to tell people that a former adviser to the president, a decorated retired U.S. Army general with years of service to his country under his belt, would take the Fifth Amendment when asked by a Republican member of Congress, "Do you believe in a peaceful transfer of power?"
Mike Flynn did.
Sure, many people consider Flynn an idiot. I also never thought I'd hear a witness tell us that the president of the United States blurted out, "Just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican congressmen."
A witness heard Donald Trump say that. Of course, many think Trump is an idiot as well.
And I certainly never thought I'd hear about a president becoming enraged over not being allowed to join an insurrection by armed assailants at the U.S. Capitol. Trump did that too. Not even the Secret Service disputes that fact. Whether or not Trump actually tried to wrestle the steering wheel from his driver as he lunged at him is the only fact in dispute — and guess what, if you know Trump that isn't much of a stretch either. But that's not the point. He wanted to go. Who in their worst alcohol-induced, Adderall-laced, psychotic-hallucinogenic rage would ever dream of having to report this? Not I, said the cat.