January 23, 2022

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White House held secret meetings with news orgs to encourage more favorable coverage

3 min read
White House held secret meetings with news orgs to encourage more favorable coverage

Three senior White House officials have been on a mission to persuade newsroom executives to be more favorable in their coverage of President Joe Biden, according to a report on Tuesday night. As if the media hasn’t already been kind to Biden by defending him at every turn.

But OK.

The trio – National Economic Council Deputy Directors David Kamin and Bharat Ramamurti, along with Ports Envoy John Porcari – have been ‘briefing major newsrooms over the past week,’ according to CNN‘s media correspondent, Oliver Darcy. 

John Pocari (left), the ports envoy; David Kamin (center) and Bharat Ramamurti (right), both deputy directors of the National Economic Council

Writing in his newsletter, Darcy said that their outreach was sparked by concern that President Joe Biden was not being treated fairly.

Darcy wrote: ‘The officials have been discussing with newsrooms trends pertaining to job creation, economic growth, supply chains, and more. 

‘The basic argument that has been made: That the country’s economy is in much better shape than it was last year. 

‘I’m told the conversations have been productive, with anchors and reporters and producers getting to talk with the officials.’

Their lobbying came as, on December 3, a Washington Post columnist called Dana Bash wrote an op-ed entitled: ‘The media treats Biden as badly as — or worse than — Trump. Here’s proof.’ 

Milbank said that he had grown suspicious about the torrent of negative headlines about Biden, and commissioned a study.

He asked Forge.ai, a data analytics unit of the information company FiscalNote, to look at 65 news websites ranging from newspapers to wire services and political publications, and do a ‘sentiment analysis’ of the 200,000 articles by searching for adjectives.

Milbank hilariously claimed the media was treating Biden worse than it had Donald Trump.

‘My colleagues in the media are serving as accessories to the murder of democracy,’ he wrote. 

On Monday, Milbank appeared on CNN to defend his theory. 

‘August was the turning point,’ he told host Brianna Keilar. 

‘Biden’s coverage was more favorable than Trump’s before then. There was that honeymoon. 

Even as things have generally improved since then, the coverage has not improved.’ 

Milbank added: ‘It’s not bias. It’s the actual words we’re using. 

‘So we are as negative as a collective media on Joe Biden, if not more so than we were to Donald Trump at a time when he was trying to overthrow democracy. 

‘That is a tremendous indictment of the whole industry.’ 

Milbank said journalists working in the U.S. needed ‘to do soul searching and see what we are delivering to people’.

He said: ‘There’s a real problem when we are being just as adversarial because a guy doesn’t pass a bill, as we are when a guy is trying to overthrow democracy.’ 

Milbank’s article was greeted with approval from the highest levels in the White House.

Ron Klain, Biden’s chief of staff, tweeted it with the comment: ‘Submitted for your consideration.’

There is no way Biden is being treated worse than Trump.

No way.

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