For four long years, Trump and his press secretary treated the press like their enemies. They were rude, they were condescending, they were snippy, they were accusatory, and they were, simply put, mean. It was hard to remember a time when White House pressers were pleasant, even boring. That all changed mere hours after Joe Biden was sworn in, and it continues with one on Monday, in which Biden himself made sure to tell a Fox News journalist that he “liked him.”
Pres. Biden on Fox News' Peter Doocy: "I know he always asks me tough questions, and he always has an edge to them, but I like him anyway. So go ahead and ask the question."pic.twitter.com/51SUBp8vgi
— Alex Salvi (@alexsalvinews) January 25, 2021
The reporter was Peter Doocy, son of Fox & Friends mainstay Steve, and Biden actually called him himself, as the last reporter to get in a question. He also made sure to let Doocy know he knows who he is. “I know he always asks me tough questions, and [they] always have an edge to them,” Biden told the crowd. It almost sounded like a lead-in to one of Trump’s insults. It wasn’t. Instead, Biden joked, “but I like him anyway.”
People were floored by his decency, to say nothing of his patience.
President Biden is obviously no fan of Fox News, but when his press conference was over today, he took time to take a question from Peter Doocy with Fox News.@POTUS: "I know he always asks me tough questions and he always has an edge to them but I like him anyways." pic.twitter.com/P1gzUI1aou
— Brad Beauregard Jr 🇺🇸 (@BradBeauregardJ) January 25, 2021
When White House tries to end the press conference, the president holds them off to make sure Fox gets a question.
"I know he always asks me tough questions, and he always has an edge, but I like him anyway," Biden says to @pdoocy.
— Philip Melanchthon Wegmann (@PhilipWegmann) January 25, 2021
But some felt Doocy didn’t return the kindness.
This question is dripping in bad faith, and yet still Biden knocks it out of the park. But Doocy shouldn't be there wasting time in the first place. https://t.co/PH4TdTqeoA
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) January 25, 2021
Doocy’s first question, admittedly, wasn’t that “tough.” He asked about his administration’s plans for speeding up the vaccination roll-out, which has been fumbled thus far. Biden replied that he was aiming for a million doses daily within three weeks. Doocy the Younger’s other question had a bit more “edge” to it: “What happened to two months ago when you were talking about, declaratively, that [you were] going to shut down the virus?”
“I am going to shut down the virus … I never said I’d do it in two months. I said it took a long time to get here and a long time to beat it. We have millions of people out there who have the virus. We’re just, for the first day, I think, correct me if I’m wrong, I’ve been doing other things this morning, speaking with foreign leaders, but one of the first days that the numbers actually come down, the number of deaths, and the number on a daily basis and the number of hospitalizations. … It’s going to take time, it’s going to take a heck of a lot of time.”
That reply was a bit more punchy, but it’s far from the tetchy, furious responses journalists regularly received from Trump and press secretaries like Kayleigh McEnany. And it signals that future White House pressers will only likely make the news when they’re informative, not when someone working for the president, say, distributed doctored videos falsely accusing reporters of assault. Bet you won’t miss those times!