Media sets up softball welcome for Biden in preview of what’s to come

January 27, 2021

By Stephanie H. Freedman

Air Force One color schemes, what it was like for President Joe Biden to go into the Oval Office for the first time, and are they planning foreign trips? These were some of the questions asked at White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki’s first press conference.  

The media called her a “breath of fresh air” during the first week of briefings and even gave her a pass when she said Biden had “bigger issues to worry about” than his own mask mandate. 

When compared to the first press conference held in 2017, the questions were a little different. From arguing over inauguration sizes, to alleged Russian interference in the election and combing through various allegations from the campaign trail, the stage was set for Trump’s press secretary from day one. 

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. ABC fondly called Biden “Papa in Chief”, NBC defined his election as “justice prevailing” and New York Times applauded his administration as a “return to normalcy”. 

Media also neutrally covered that Biden decided to impose a travel ban “to combat COVID-19” this week. When Trump made the same policy decision in 2020, outlets speculated that racism had fueled his decision to enact pandemic travel bans. News outlets even recently reported that it’s “not fair” to say that Biden ever called Trump’s travel ban xenophobic. 


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