The White House has allegedly been upset with CNN over its recent coverage of President Joe Biden and his administration.
The White House had disdain for their reporting of Biden’s speech Sept. 1 in front of Independence Hall where the president attacked “MAGA [Make America Great Again] Republicans” as a threat to American democracy, according to Politico. The administration was specifically upset about the network’s focus on the optics of the speech, most notably the blood red background, according to Politico, which cites an individual with knowledge of the situation.
CNN anchor Brianna Keilar condemned the appearance of two Marines who stood in the background during Biden’s speech. She said the military is supposed to be apolitical and their presence during a political speech is “wrong.” White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates hit back at her remark, saying the speech was apolitical.
“Except it’s not political. In the same way CNN isn’t political but has made the same warnings,” Bates said.
Except it’s not political. In the same way CNN isn’t political but has made the same warnings.
“Jake Tapper breaks down GOP threats to democracy” https://t.co/2EEGwR173D
— Andrew Bates (@AndrewJBates46) September 2, 2022
Some of the network’s commentators and contributors have been critical of the president on his student debt forgiveness plan, including commentator Catherine Rampbell, who said the move is “not the best use of taxpayer dollars.” (RELATED: Not Even CNN Could Spin Biden’s Latest Poll Numbers As Anything But A Disaster)
CNN anchor Don Lemon, long known for his criticism of former President Donald Trump, pressed White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre in June on the White House blaming Russian President Vladimir Putin for inflation. He suggested point blank that the administration bears some responsibility for the rise in prices. He also sparred with the press secretary in August about what the White House knew prior to the raid on Mar-a-Lago.
CNN President Chris Licht has strived to increase the network’s bipartisan coverage. His effort to change the network led to the recent departures of anchors Brian Stelter and White House correspondent John Harwood. Several criticized Licht for Harwood’s departure before his contract had expired.
Licht previously met with White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain in May to expand his outreach with political leaders in Washington, Politico previously reported. Klain retweeted Lincoln Project co-founder Rick Wilson’s post that said the “diet Fox [News] era begins” in response to CNN anchor Poppy Harlow pressing Jean-Pierre on whether Biden will apologize for his “semi-fascism” comment.
The White House has also expressed frustration over former Obama strategist David Axelrod’s criticism of the administration on CNN. Axelrod has criticized the president’s performance at press conferences and some of his policies both on the network and in op-ed pieces.
The Republican National Committee shared a segment with anchor John Avlon criticizing Democrats’ handling of urban crime, the outlet reported.