Asked and answered.

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President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference on the North Portico of the White House, Monday, Sept. 7, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Over the Labor Day weekend President Trump held a somewhat impromptu 45-minute news conference on the North Portico of the White House. I happened to be in the car and I heard most of it.

As I listened I was struck by a number of things. First, many – one might say most – of the reporters who asked questions of the president weren’t asking questions at all. They were engaging in debate. Hostile debate.

Because of my innate interest, coupled with the way I make my living, I have been listening critically to presidential pressers for a long time. It is a feature and not a bug that some degree of contentiousness pervades the relationship between the press and the president they are covering. Some sparring is par for the course – necessary actually.

But not like this. Never have I seen such blatant, undisguised disrespect from the White House press corps. The personal disdain that these people have for this president is palpable. They make no effort whatsoever to hide their animus. President Richard Nixon, in those last awful months of his presidency in 1974, wasn’t treated this badly.

Another thing that struck me as I listened is the fact that despite how badly he is treated, Donald Trump nevertheless makes himself available for questions from the media more than any president in recent memory. His comings and goings from the south lawn of the White House offer an example. He almost never boards or disembarks from Marine One without holding a micro press conference – what those in the trade call a “gaggle.”

I can’t prove this, but I’d be willing to bet that Donald Trump has taken more questions from the media in 44 months than his two predecessors combined took in 16 years. Barack Obama would go months without taking media questions. Donald Trump seldom goes more than 48 hours.

And that leads to the third thing. Contrast all of this with Joe Biden. Biden, after a long hiatus, answered questions from the media twice last week. Prior to those two events, he hadn’t answered a press question for more than a month. Given the rarity of the opportunity, one might think that those in the media following him would press hard when given the chance.

Think again.

The infrequent press questioning that Biden receives is softball city – the very antithesis of that which Trump receives. Many of the questions are, in fact, also not questions at all but rather set-ups for Biden to amplify on something he’s already said. My favorite example of this from last week comes from Ed O’Keefe of CBS, who asked Biden why he wasn’t “angrier” at Trump’s disrespect for fallen World War I soldiers as alleged in a recent hit piece in The Atlantic magazine (a piece that is rapidly becoming discredited).

Alas, it is no surprise that the media is in the tank for Biden and out to get Trump. But that doesn’t make it any less of an outrage.

Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of Gleiser Communications, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The Team FM & KYZS in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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10 Responses

  1. Michael Reagan says:

    First of all: THANK YOU Paul for an outlet for us who need to vent. And Thank You for poignant to the point, relevant topics important to all of us in East Texas and beyond.

    Yes, absolutely President Trump has put himself “out there” far more than all the past President’s in my 60 years of memory. I often muse to myself; why in the world would he do this? No other President or major political figure would go before the Nation and world and stand there and be blasted with question after question for a lengthy period of time. President Trump definitely does not shy away from questions. Given the continuing barrage of bologna and BS the media and left keep throwing at him; why does he do this? My goodness, the dead horse of Russia collusion has never left the building (Elvis is turning in his grave), now another female has surfaced to claim “rape”. Paul can you do an article of, “The Little Boy Who Cried Wolf”; just to remind us of the damage nonsense such as this really does to people who do experience abuse!

    EVERYONE remember the battle cry of the Left. “IT IS ONLY ABOUT REMOVING PRESIDENT TRUMP FROM OFFICE”. They do not give a rip about anything else, any one individual or group, our welfare, our safety, our country; they only want power over us.

    Trump is amazing or incredibly nuts; to stand before the cameras and take the abuse that is nothing short of criminal from the fake news media. Least we forget all the criminal enterprises of the Obama Administration that are too lengthy to list. Peace!

  2. Buddy Saunders says:

    I, too, saw O’Keefe’s “Why aren’t you angrier?” question, asked despite there being no evidence such a comment was ever made. But even if there was evidence (and there never will be), it would not be proper for a reporter to ask that question.

  3. Jerry Caddy says:

    Paul:
    Your “You Tell Me” comments are spot on. It makes me very envious of your wordsmithing abilities. Keep up the good work.

  4. Richard Anderson says:

    Great piece Mr. Gleiser!

    So on point about what’s going on being directed at our President if not ALL OF US who voted for him in 2016.
    It’s not just unwarranted, it’s being done with malice in the attempt to politically injure President Trump by demoralizing him and his supporters to such a degree as to bring about his defeat.

    NEWS FLASH.. IT ISN’T WORKING!!

    The good people of The United States of America are fighting back. The best way to do this is to show up and vote FOR President Trump on November 3rd in numbers not seen since Reagan beat Mondale in a 49 state landslide. (By the way, I predict we’ll win Minnesota this time round.)

    Vote for law & order and freedom & prosperity.
    TRUMP 2020

  5. If YOU were Biden, would YOU play it differently? He’s ahead in polls by LETTING Trump over-expose. Hand him the shovel!

    Every time either of ‘em say ANYTHING it could be the WRONG thing. Why break-into-jail?

    Former US Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO, one of the few NON-Republican talking heads MSNBC has hired in recent years): WHO lets Bob Woodward interview them EIGHTEEN times?

    • Ron Eagleman says:

      Just wondering, could these be the same polls that tried to influence the outcome of the 2016 election? C’mon man…….if a respondent actually replies that he supports Trump, there is a tacit fear of getting the house burned down, losing your job, or being mugged by a Biden supporter. I do agree that it is a little risky to grant any kind of access to a hack like Bob Woodward!

      • Or vice versa. A bumper sticker for either is asking to get keyed.

        • Ron Eagleman says:

          True, but a keyed paint job is child’s play to the anarchists! Your folks play hardball….or….. Molotov cocktail ball. However, when the silent majority finally loses patience, these thugs will think they have been participating in a Sunday school picnic! It will not be a pretty picture!

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