White House Furious Over NYT Coverage

New York Times publisher A.G. Salzberger said the Times would continue to report on President Joe Biden “fully and fairly” despite the White House’s objections to its coverage, Politico reported.

During an interview with the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism last Monday, Sulzberger revealed that the White House was “extremely upset” with the New York Times’ coverage of President Biden’s historically low approval and concerns over his age.

He said the Times would “continue to report fully and fairly,” not just when covering Donald Trump but also in its coverage of President Biden.

Sulzberger described President Biden as a “historically unpopular incumbent” and noted that the 81-year-old Biden is the oldest president in the nation’s history. He said the New York Times has reported “extensively” on both “realities” despite the White House being “extremely upset about it.”

The White House and the Biden campaign have expressed disapproval over news coverage of the president’s persistently low approval numbers and concerns over Biden’s age. Reports on the latter gained significant traction following the release of special counsel Robert Hur’s final report on the investigation into Biden’s mishandling of classified documents.

In his report, Hur explained his decision not to recommend charges against the president by arguing that a jury would be reluctant to convict someone they view as “a well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”

In a recent column on Substack, former New York Times editor Margaret Sullivan criticized the paper’s coverage of Biden’s age, suggesting that Sulzberger should instruct editors to stop “going overboard” and “tone it down” when writing about Biden’s advancing age.

Sulzberger conceded that the concerns about Joe Biden weren’t the same as the concerns about Donald Trump and his multiple criminal indictments. At the same time, he said Biden’s age and unpopularity were just as true as Trump’s indictments and the public had the right to know about both.

He added that if the Times “hyped up” only one side while “downplaying the other,” neither side would have any reason to trust the paper.