On Thursday, during the daily White House press briefing, New York Times reporter Michael Shear asked Press Secretary Jen Psaki why, as supposedly evidenced by his start-of-term executive orders reversing policies of former President Donald Trump, President Joe Biden was not trying to unify the country.
"Is unemployment insurance an issue that only Democrats in the country want?" said Psaki, visibly taken aback at the framing of the question. "Or do only Democrats want their kids to go back to schools?"
Shear's question drew harsh criticism on social media, with reporters excoriating how he chose to pose the question and suggesting that it was a leading premise.
He basically asked @PressSec why Biden hasn’t unified the country yet, suggesting that he should have left Trump’s policies in place and put Republicans in his cabinet.— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) January 22, 2021
This framing is such nonsense. https://t.co/5A2h1tGGoY
Seriously, watch this insane exchange— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) January 22, 2021
I give lectures around the world on how to ask questions. This guy needs to attend.— David Cay Johnston (@DavidCayJ) January 22, 2021
No one should make it to the White House press room who is as ragingly incompetent as this guy at framing a question.
Who is he? Who pays his salary? https://t.co/mbdNj1YNsw
No, damn, it’s not someone from the New York Times or any other first right news organization. And if I’m wrong we can both send a letter asking why he hasn’t been fired.— David Cay Johnston (@DavidCayJ) January 22, 2021