Sam Stein, the incoming White House Editor at Politico, tweeted on Wednesday “The Biden transition team appears to have disabled the public chat function on its transition Zoom calls, a place where I and others had been routinely complaining to them to take more questions.”
A few weeks ago, Morgan Phillips at Fox News reported that some members of the press had become “frustrated” with what they saw as the Biden team playing favorites when it came to doling out opportunities to ask questions at press events.
Biden officials called on five reporters in Friday’s Zoom briefing, from the New York Times, CNN, Washington Post, PBS and Politico, and ignored questions from Fox News and others.
Toward the end of the brief questioning, other reporters grew frustrated and started using Zoom’s “chat” function to pressure Biden officials to provide more access.
“Hey guys, there tons of folks looking to ask questions and since this is being done once a week, could we PLEASE go longer or at least hold more frequent briefings,” Sam Stein from The Daily Beast wrote in the chat.
“Any chance you can take a few more questions? There are a lot of folks here with questions,” Zeke Miller from The Associated Press added.
“Is there a point in saying we want to ask questions if you only call on the same small group every week?” said White House reporter Andrew Feinberg.
Unsurprisingly, the Biden folks were trying to avoid questions about the then-scoop of Hunter Biden admitting he was under investigation by the Justice Department. But these chatters ain’t the conservative media.
Politico’s decision to bring on Sam Stein was not viewed as picking someone independent of or skeptical of Team Biden. Fox also reported Stein’s wife, Jessica Leinwand, previously served as Deputy Associate Counsel at the Obama White House and as a trial attorney for the Department of Justice. Donation records also showed that Leinwand had contributed nearly $10,000 to Democrats and progressive organizations – including more than $5,700 to Biden’s presidential campaign. She also donated to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.
Leinwand now works for Facebook as a public policy manager – which Stein alluded to in October when he admitted to having “conflicting opinions” on social media censoring of a New York Post expose on Hunter Biden.