Biden Instructs the Press?

I don’t know whether this Semafor post is accurate, but it does have the ring of truth. Ben Smith’s site says, consistent with other news coverage, that Joe Biden and his team are frustrated by press coverage of the election season:

Biden’s re-election campaign has begun organizing a series of off-the-record trips for top political reporters and editors to the team’s headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware and meet senior officials, including the campaign manager, deputies, and other high-ranking advisors for background briefings on campaign strategy.

Can you imagine Washington Post and New York Times reporters and editors traveling to Mar-a-Lago for off the record briefings by the Trump campaign?

They’re also using it as an opportunity to tell them what they’re getting wrong. Two people with knowledge of the situation told Semafor that during meetings with reporters from outlets like The New York Times, the Washington Post, and others, campaign officials have invoked a coverage spreadsheet laying out areas where the team believes their reporting has fallen short.

Republicans sometimes tell reporters where their coverage has been wrong, but it is in a press conference by, for example, Ron DeSantis. And no Republican even dreams of a press corps that is pro-GOP.

In particular, campaign officials have chafed at some of the coverage of former President Donald Trump, feeling that outlets are too focused on his legal troubles and haven’t paid enough attention to some of his incendiary recent statements on the campaign trail.

This is revealing. Biden’s team has seen that the absurd criminal charges against Trump have helped his political standing, so, tactically, they want the press to help them by changing their emphasis. My guess is that most press outlets are happy to comply.

That said, this whole thing seems bizarre. Is it really possible that reporters and editors would meet with a political campaign, “off the record,” to be instructed on how their coverage should be changed so as to help the candidate? Apparently so:

A source familiar told Semafor that with the exception of its recent meeting with the Times, the campaign meetings had been “substantive” and “productive,” and that Biden staffers were scheduled to meet in the coming days with political reporting teams from ABC, NBC, The Wall Street Journal, Fox, NPR, Reuters, Bloomberg, and others in Wilmington.

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