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Desperate White House Urging Media Outlets To Overly Scrutinize GOP Impeachment Inquiry

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


For years, polls have shown that the majority of the American public does not trust most legacy media outlets, and the White House has just added more fuel to that fire.

Ian Sams, a spokesperson for the White House Counsel’s Office, has sent a memo to major news outlets asking that they “ramp up their scrutiny” of House Republicans “for opening an impeachment inquiry based on lies,” the New York Post reported.

The memo, sent to major outlets including CNN, the New York Times and Fox News, comes after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced an impeachment inquiry had begun into President Joe Biden after several committees claimed to have found incriminating evidence regarding alleged bribes and suspected enrichment from selling the “Biden brand.”

“Through our investigations, we have found that President Biden did lie to the American people about his own knowledge of his family’s foreign business dealings,” McCarthy alleged earlier this week, claiming that “these allegations paint a picture of a culture of corruption.”

Sams targeted select media outlets on Tuesday but then sent the memo to the White House press list the following day. But the instructions rankled several members of the media who complained that the administration was attempting to dictate editorial direction regarding impeachment, The Post added.

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“They should be playing hardball, and instead, what they’re doing is bitching about the media,” a White House reporter who regularly attends briefings told the outlet.

“I don’t think the media likes being told what to do. I think it’s going to backfire,” the reporter predicted, according to The Post. “It seems to say to me that they believe the media will just do what [the White House] tells them. It’s a terrible look for the administration.”

The correspondent went on to say that a “hardball” approach would be the White House attempting to take the wind out of Republicans’ impeachment sails by addressing factual disputes and providing additional context.

“If you want to play hardball, trot out Hunter to say what he did or didn’t do, explain why the payments are a nothing burger,” the reporter told The Post. “Or just issue a rebuttal memo.”

“This is not OK,” journalist Matthew Keys tweeted. “The White House should not be encouraging, influencing or interfering in the editorial strategies of America’s newsrooms, including CNN and the New York Times.”

He added: “Now, any time the media DOES try to hold Republican lawmakers to account, those lawmakers can simply counter by questioning whether it’s actual journalism or something encouraged by the Biden administration.”

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“All this demonstrates is that the Biden administration has lost confidence in the news media — which I guess mirrors public sentiment over the last few years, too,” Keys noted further.

A White House source told CNN, which first reported on the memo, that Sams was expected to send it first to executives at CNN, The New York Times, The Associated Press, Fox News, and CBS News.

“The problem is they’re trying to influence coverage,” Keys concluded. “The government should never do that. It is inappropriate.”

The Biden White House got a new headache on Thursday when special counsel David Weiss announced an indictment against first son Hunter Biden, though not for suspected influence-peddling and violations of the Foreign Agent Registration Act.

Weiss indicted Hunter on a gun charge — allegedly lying on a background check about past drug use and then being illegally in possession of a firearm.

Following the indictment, President Biden gave a speech on ‘Bidenomics,’ but did not address his son’s charges.

“There’s a lot more I know we can talk about. I wish I had a chance to take all your questions, but I’m gonna get in real trouble if I do that,” he said.

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