Subramanian’s silence

Los Angeles Times White House reporter Courtney Subramanian appears to have accommodated President Biden’s daycare minders with the substance of the question she would ask when called on at the joint news conference with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol last week. Biden was prepared with a cheat sheet instructing him to call on her first, paraphrasing the question, and otherwise identifying her for his benefit. Seeing the set-up with our own eyes courtesy of the AFP photographer, it was a revealing moment that you might think would be hard to talk away.

Indeed, it is so hard to talk away that Subramanian herself has had nothing to say about it. She has remained silent on her Twitter feed. The tweet below preceded the press conference and is the most recent on Subramanian’s account.

Subramanian also failed to respond to a request for comment from Washington Post media reporter Paul Farhi for his story on the incident. Los Angeles Times flack Hillary Manning spoke for Subramanian. Manning told Farhi that “Subramanian didn’t provide White House officials with a specific or even general question in advance of the news conference.” Farhi adds, “However, on Tuesday, the reporter mentioned to officials that semiconductors were ‘one of several topics she might want to cover,’ said Manning.”

Farhi leaves us wondering how Biden’s White House minders were able to pull off their Carnac the Magnificent routine anticipating Subramanian’s question in a “mysterious and borderline divine way” that fit miraculously with Biden’s canned answer. As I say, Subramanian is resting on her right to remain silent while Manning does the talking for her. Even a fool should be able to see the joke buried in this routine. Farhi is more than happy to play the straight man in his own way. However, Ed McMahon was in on Carnac’s routine. Farhi not so much.

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