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CNN analyst hits media with reality check after reporters fawn at Biden's WHCD jokes — and host's reaction says it all
Nathan Howard/Bloomberg via Getty Images

CNN analyst hits media with reality check after reporters fawn at Biden's WHCD jokes — and host's reaction says it all

CNN analyst Scott Jennings criticized the media for fawning over President Joe Biden's jokes at the White House Correspondents' Dinner on Saturday.

The room — full of journalists, media executives, and other celebrities — repeatedly broke into laughter when Biden joked about Fox News, Tucker Carlson, Elon Musk, Don Lemon, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), Rupert Murdoch, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, and, of course, himself.

But Jennings highlighted one joke that should not have elicited laughter from the media. That joke was:

In a lot of ways, this dinner sums up my first two years in office. I'll talk for 10 minutes, take zero questions, and cheerfully walk away.

"For the journalists in the room: He wasn't laughing with you, he was laughing at you," Jennings explained.

"I mean, the reality is, I think he's mocking the press. The guy does not take questions and he's up there joking about it," he explained. "And they're clapping and they're laughing about it. And, I don't know, I just I think he owes — I'm pro-reporter, and I think that the president of the United States ought to have to talk to these reporters and not mock them."

It's true. Biden is notoriously unavailable to journalists.

According to data compiled by the American Presidency Project at UC-Santa Barbra, Biden has participated in just 23 news conferences since becoming president, and over half of those — 12 — were joint press conferences. He has given only 11 solo press conferences, including zero in 2023.

To be fair, Biden has had over 300 exchanges with reporters, which are by nature informal and more frequent. Examples include when reporters ask Biden questions as he departs or arrives to the White House or when Biden chooses to answer questions that are shouted at him.

Anything else?

The reaction of host John Berman proved the point that Jennings made: The media have a cozy relationship with Biden that is uncritical.

"How did it compare to the speeches that Donald Trump gave at the White House Correspondents' Dinner?" Berman responded. "He didn't give them. He didn't show."

Trump never showed up for the White House Correspondents' Dinner as president, likely due to his hostile relationship with the media. Trump had attended the dinner when he was not president and infamously became the target of Barack Obama's jokes in 2011.

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