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Kamala Harris Upset: NY Times Publisher Confronts Her Over Biden’s Lack of Interviews

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A.G. Sulzberger, publisher of the New York Times, confronted Vice President Kamala Harris last year over President Biden’s refusal to give interviews to major newspapers.

Politico Magazine published a report on Thursday highlighting the ongoing feud between The New York Times and the Biden White House, reported that Sulzberger confronted Harris during a meeting off the record with reporters at the Times’ headquarters last May.

Sulzberger asked Harris why Biden hadn’t done sit-down interviews, and Harris replied that he should contact the White House Press Office. Politico reported that she “grimed” about the exchange to her aides later.

The Politico article outlined the growing frustrations between the administration and The New York Times. Biden’s aides said the paper felt “entitled” and “deserved” special treatment while those at The Grey Lady believe Biden “isn’t being realistic” about the newspaper’s role.

The New York Times confirmed that Sulzberger had confronted Harris, and it criticized Biden’s historic refusal to give one-on-one interviews. The Times also denied it had altered its reporting because of its frustration at the president’s refusal to sit down with reporters.

Biden has given fewer interviews and press conferences to independent journalists than all his predecessors. Charlie Stadtlander, a spokesman for The Times, confirmed that the newspaper had requested an interview on record with President Biden. This was something it has always done with presidents dating back over a century. “If he chooses to not sit down with The Times, he has the right to do so. We will cover him fairly and fully in any case.” said spokesman Charlie Stadtlander.

He continued: “In meetings, The Times publisher focused on a higher principal. That is, systematically avoiding interviews with major news organizations undermines an important norm and sets a dangerous precedent for future presidents to use to avoid scrutiny and accountability.” “That’s why Mr. Sulzberger repeatedly urged the White House that the president meet with the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal as well as Reuters, CNN, and other independent news organizations on which millions of Americans rely to understand their government.” The idea that a certain line of coverage was ordered or encouraged as a retaliation or for any other reason is outrageous and false.

The Times publisher revealed that in February, the White House was “extremely unhappy” with The New York Times coverage of Biden’s age.

Politico reports that Biden has given only two print interviews since becoming president. These were with The Associated Press, and The New Yorker. Biden has given several friendly interviews with liberal journalists and comedians.

In late February, he interviewed with late-night host Seth Meyers. He also sat down in March with Jonathan Capehart of MSNBC. In mid-April, he also interviewed with Nexstar’s Reshad Hudson.

Harris interviewed in August 2023 with New York Times podcaster Astead Herndon, which was broadcast on the “The Run-Up Podcast” of NYT in November.

Sulzberger argued that an interview with him could only confirm if America’s oldest President is mentally fit to serve a 2nd term. Politico reported this, citing sources familiar with Sulzberger’s private remarks.

A journalist for the New York Times said to Politico: “All of these Biden supporters think the problem is Peter Baker, [a NYT White House Reporter] or whichever reporter they are mad at on that particular day.” It’s A.G. The one who’s pissed that Biden hasn’t given any interviews, and encourages the hard reporting about his age.

The White House has said it will not comment on any private conversations with journalists and editors.

Andrew Bates, White House spokesperson, said: “As an administration that is committed to the role of free press, we believe that a respectful, mutually honest and fact-based back-and-forth between media outlets and the administration is the cornerstone of a healthy relationship.” We have this kind of dialogue with The New York Times, and other media organizations.

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