NY Times Publisher Presses Harris on Biden’s Lack of Major Newspaper Interviews

Vice President Kamala Harris faced questions from New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger last year over President Biden’s avoidance of interviews with major newspapers, according to a new report.

During an off-the-record meeting with reporters at the Times headquarters last May, Sulzberger confronted Harris for several minutes about why Biden had not conducted sit-down interviews with major newspapers, including The New York Times. Harris reportedly directed Sulzberger to reach out to the White House press office, later expressing frustration to her aides about what she perceived as a waste of time, Politico reported.

The Politico piece detailed growing tensions between the Biden administration and The New York Times, with Biden aides suggesting the paper feels entitled to special treatment while the Times believes Biden isn’t realistic about its role.

Confirming Sulzberger’s confrontation with Harris, The New York Times criticized Biden for his historic avoidance of one-on-one interviews. A spokesman for the Times, Charlie Stadtlander, emphasized the importance of presidential interviews with major news organizations and the dangers of avoiding scrutiny and accountability. Stadtlander highlighted the need for Biden to engage with outlets like The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, and CNN.

Sulzberger reportedly argued that only an interview with The New York Times could confirm President Biden’s mental fitness for a second term. The Times also faced criticism from the White House over its coverage of Biden’s age.

According to Politico, Biden has participated in only two print interviews since taking office, with The Associated Press and The New Yorker, while engaging in several friendly interviews with liberal reporters or comedians.

The White House declined to comment on private discussions with reporters and editors, emphasizing the importance of honest and respectful dialogue between media outlets and administrations in a healthy democracy.