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Today's Politico Playbook Lead With Some Reporter Drama

Kyle Koster
Mar 25, 2021, 9:59 AM EDT
Samuel Corum/Getty Images
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It's a massive day for political reporters as President Joe Biden will hold his first formal press conference since entering the White House. There are so many things to ask and all of the questions better be greatly impactful for the American public lest some of the more performative hand-wringing over the lack of transparency be revealed as purely performative.

This morning's Politico Playbook explores some of the questions scribes are planning to ask Biden:

At 1:15 p.m. in the East Room, President JOE BIDEN will take the lectern in front of 25 journalists. Among the reporters scheduled to be at the president’s first formal press conference, one that comes later than any recent president, are: CNN’s KAITLAN COLLINS, CBS’ NANCY CORDES, TheGrio’s APRIL RYAN, RealClearPolitics’ PHILIP WEGMANN, POLITICO’s ANITA KUMAR and NYT’s ANNIE KARNI.

Speaking of Karni, we reached out to about 20 White House reporters to get a sense of what’s on the press corps’ mind going into the event, and she was one of the few brave souls to attach her name to her comments.

“I think there are plenty of important topics we haven’t heard from him directly about,” Karni told Playbook. “Immigration and the border, how he feels about unity when Republicans are set on depriving him of any successes; real questions about how he gets anything else done without ending the filibuster; what kind of political capital is he willing to spend on gun control; even a better sense of his day to day.”

By this time in a new administration, there are some sore spots between the White House and the briefing room reporters. Karni gave this rundown of the relationship: “So far, I find the team responsive. We have registered our complaints about them providing people to us on background with quote approval, which they overuse.

There is one small issue. Karni apparently didn't intend to have her name attached to her name to the comments.

It's tough to see where miscommunication arose. Karni is clear she doesn't want to be on the record, but granted Politico permission to use her thoughts on background. Then her name name appears as the lead of Playbook.

A few hours after this issue went public, Lizza issued a public apology and said he'd also offered a private one.

It's good to know any beef has been squashed. Now we can all focus on this monumental presser that will change everything.

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