To paraphrase The Washington Post’s motto, democracy dies at CNN? Network correspondent Jeff Zeleny on Thursday wasn’t upset with the Biden administration’s blatant refusal to allow press access to their kids in cages debacle at the border. The journalist dismissed as “largely irrelevant” Biden’s comment at a press conference that he can’t let the American people see the mass incarcerated children until the situation is less terrible.
Anchor Jake Tapper appeared bewildered by Biden’s press conference answer to whether he would allow reporters in, calling it “not really in keeping with the transparency that he promised in terms of leveling with the American people.”
Zeleny responded by basically saying that it didn’t matter:
Well Jake, I mean, the reality is whether they let the news media in so the public can see, we should always point out that’s what this is about, the American people being able to see their government at work here. Whether he does that or not is largely irrelevant because members of Congress on both sides have made clear that the images that they have seen there are unacceptable.
Of course, the only reason we have any images of the deplorable, crowded conditions is because of hidden video footage obtained by a few outlets. But apparently it doesn’t’ matter because, according to Zeleny, “the reality is, there are enough eyeballs there that people are raising a stink about this, both Democrats and Republicans.”
So go ahead and restrict the press then? What a change from the Trump administration. The President insisted on Thursday, “I will commit to transparency, as soon as I am in a position to be able to implement what we’re doing right now.”
Also, Biden is “humane,” so can’t everyone just stop complaining?
Cecilia Vega, from ABC, I believe, asked a question about a young unaccompanied minor standing at the border. President Biden gave a humane answer.
Zeleny has a long, LONG history of fawning over Democrats. In 2009, he infamously asked Barack Obama what “enchanted” him about being president:
During these first 100 days, what has surprised you the most about this office, enchanted you the most about serving in this office, humbled you the most and troubled you the most?
The anti-freedom of the press, pro-Biden hackery was sponsored by Carvana. Click on the link to let them know what you think.
A partial transcript is below. Click “expand” to read more.
2:35 PM ET
JAKE TAPPER: Jeff, one of the things that President Biden said that was kind of surprising in terms of whether or not he would allow news media into the facilities where this humanitarian crisis is going on, where all these unaccompanied migrant children and teenagers are. Is basically, he said — and I’m — this is a generous paraphrase, but it’s along the lines of, “Once we fixed it, we’re going to let you in to see it but we’re not going to let you in to see it, news media, and therefore the American people, until we’ve fixed the problem.” Not really in keeping with the transparency that he promised in terms of leveling with the American people.
JEFF ZELENY: Well Jake, I mean, the reality is whether they let the news media in so the public can see, we should always point out that’s what this is about, the American people being able to see their government at work here. Whether he does that or not is largely irrelevant because members of Congress on both sides have made clear that the images that they have seen there are unacceptable.
In fact, President Biden said himself the images he has seen in briefings are unacceptable.
So, you know, the question is: Will the White House keep hiding behind the rules of COVID and other matters of not allowing some type of access? We’ll see if they’re able to sort of keep that up. But the reality is, there are enough eyeballs there that people are raising a stink about this, both Democrats and Republicans. I was struck by, though, President Biden really, it’s clear that former President Trump is still in his head on this immigration policy. He mentioned him again and again and again.
And up to a point, that is true, the Trump administration immigration policies certainly created some of this, but not all of this. And it’s certainly the Biden administration’s challenge now. But it’s clear that that is the frame in which President Biden views this. But I think a strong point of this — the news conference here, when Cecilia Vega, from ABC, I believe, asked a question about a young unaccompanied minor standing at the border. President Biden gave a humane answer and he said, “No, he would not turn that unaccompanied minor away.” He said, no president would do that, except perhaps President Trump. So, it’s clear that he is still playing off of that.
But I think it’s clear also that immigration is one of the pressing challenges here. So he can talk about infrastructure — and, yes, that is going forward. That is a big, you know, program that affects many, many more people. But immigration is something that he knows he has to get a handle on. And it’s been frustrating to him, as it was during the Obama administration. It happens every cycle. It’s not just because he’s a nice guy, as he said. I think it was funny to watch him walk through that as well. But clearly, whether they open these or not, people are going to see what’s going on in there — Jake?