Mainstream media reporters called out President Joe Biden on Thursday after the tone of his speech contradicted what officials had promised.
The White House, however, did not appreciate the accountability.
What did the WH promise?
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked directly whether Biden's speech would be "political," and she denied that it would be.
"No, it’s not a political speech," Jean-Pierre said. "This is an opportunity, again, for the president to directly have a conversation with the American people."
Reporters, however, appeared not to buy what she was selling, because they repeatedly asked Jean-Pierre how the speech would not be political if Biden would confront "MAGA Republicans" and the threat he believes they pose to American democracy.
What did reporters say?
During Biden's controversial speech, reporters noted how, in fact, Biden's speech was entirely political.
"'Good manners is nothing they’ve ever suffered from,' @POTUS says about protesters at his speech, in which he accused former President Trump and 'MAGA Republicans' of threatening the foundation of U.S. democracy. The White House said earlier today the speech was not political," Reuters reporter Jeff Mason noted.
CBS News reporter Ed O'Keefe, meanwhile, noted the highly partisan optics of Biden's speech.
"Like or loathe what he said tonight, it should be noted: The president spoke tonight on the grounds of a national park, flanked by US Marines, and took direct, specific aim at his predecessor and members of the Republican Party," O'Keefe noted. "Another thing we don’t see everyday."
CNN anchor Brianna Keilar was also heavily critical of Biden.
"Whatever you think of this speech the military is supposed to be apolitical. Positioning Marines in uniform behind President Biden for a political speech flies in the face of that," she tweeted. "It’s wrong when Democrats do it. It’s wrong when Republicans do it."
How did WH respond?
Deputy press secretary Andrew Bates directly responded to each of the journalists, using reporting examples from each respective news outlet to deny that Biden's speech was overly political.
"Except it's not political. In the same way CNN isn't political but has made the same warnings," Bates told Keilar, pointing to CNN stories in which the outlet connected the fight for democracy and Trump supporters.
The stories, however, are not comparable to what Biden said. Yes, they may be of similar content, but the criticism of Biden's speech stems from exactly what Mason observed, namely the White House said it would not be "political" — and yet it was.