Monday, April 15, 2024

New York Times publisher admits White House gets ‘extremely upset’ with its reporting on Biden’s age, poor polling

The publisher of the New York Times admitted Monday that the White House is “extremely upset” with the paper’s coverage of President Biden’s dismal approval ratings and voter concerns about his age

“He is a historically unpopular incumbent and the oldest man to ever hold this office,” AG Sulzberger said in an interview with the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism

“We’ve reported on both of those realities extensively, and the White House has been extremely upset about it,” the Gray Lady’s publisher added. 

Sulzberger, 43, vowed that his paper will “continue to report fully and fairly” despite the criticism it has received from the 81-year-old president’s staff.

A.G Sulzberger said that his paper will “continue to report fully and fairly” despite backlash it has received from Biden’s staff. Getty Images

“We are not saying that this is the same as [former President Donald Trump’s] five court cases or that they are even,” the publisher explained. “They are different. But they are both true, and the public needs to know both those things.” 

Questions about Biden’s memory and mental acuity have grown in the aftermath of special counsel Robert Hur’s scathing report on the president’s handling of classified White House documents. 

Hur’s report, released earlier this month, found that Biden, over the course of two-day interview with the special counsel, “did not remember when he was vice president, forgetting on the first day of the interview when his term ended (‘if it was 2013 — when did I stop being Vice President?’), and forgetting on the second day of the interview when his term began (‘in 2009, am I still Vice President?’).”

“He did not remember, even within several years, when his son Beau died [May 2015]. And his memory appeared hazy when describing the Afghanistan debate that was once so important to him,” the report states. “Among other things, he mistakenly said he ‘had a real difference’ of opinion with General Karl Eikenberry, when, in fact, Eikenberry was an ally whom Mr. Biden cited approvingly in his Thanksgiving [2009] memo to President Obama.”

A White House spokesman slammed the New York Times over coverage of Hur’s report last week. REUTERS
The Biden administration has been extremely upset with the New York Times’ reporting on the President. Getty Images

White House spokesman Ian Sams called out the New York Times – and other news outlets – over coverage of Hur’s report last week in a four-page letter addressed to White House Correspondents’ Association President Kelly O’Donnell, of NBC.

He argued that journalists were misrepresenting the report’s conclusions about Biden’s retention of sensitive materials dating back to his time as vice president, but the spokesman didn’t address reporting on Hur’s assessment of Biden’s perceived cognitive decline other than to write that “the Special Counsel’s false and inappropriate personal comments have distracted from due attention to the substance.”

Biden, the oldest president in American history, insisted that his memory “is fine” minutes before confusing the president of Egypt with the president of Mexico during a fiery exchange with reporters hours after Hur’s report dropped. 

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