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CNN’s Brian Stelter predicts ‘restoration of normal relations’ between Biden and press

The 2020 presidential election has yet to be officially decided and certified. But the Democrats and the media have declared the Democrat nominee Joe Biden as the President-Elect. With Biden as president and Kamala Harris as his vice-president, Stelter is predicting a return to normal relations with the media – as in pre-Trump.

During the Trump administration, media relations were strained and the president had little patience with the press and what he perceived to be bias in favor of the left.

Potentially, once again, the press will return to being deferential to a president that they approve of. There will most likely be regular press briefings and a renewed bonding between the press corps and the White House.

Stelter was quick to point out that Joe Biden is not going to call the media the “enemy of the people.” With many Americans tuning out the news these days, it remains to be seen if there will be any renewed interest in what the media does or doesn’t do in regards to politics.

Immediately after Democrats said the election was over, the media proceeded to state that Biden’s team is moving forward. They are not waiting for a concession from the President or a ruling on the election from the Supreme Court. In fact, Biden said on Sunday that his first coronavirus response via an executive order will be to find a way to mandate that all Americans wear a mask. That will almost certainly be challenged constitutionally.

On “Reliable Sources,” Stelter interviewed the campaign’s national press secretary TJ Ducklo, and he was struck by his statements about the role of the fourth estate. Ducklo stated that “the media has an incredibly important job to do.” Stelter found that refreshing after what he called “four years of venomous attacks against the media by the commander in chief.”

“President-elect Biden believes that the media is a critical piece of our democracy; that transparency is incredibly important,” Ducklo said. “You’ll remember we opened all of our fundraisers this campaign, opened to press so that folks could see what was going on and what was being said.”

Ducklo said Biden also believes “that the media’s job is to hold him accountable. He is there to do the people’s work. And, you know, he welcomes that relationship. He welcomes their role, the media’s role in our democracy. And I think it will be, frankly, the polar opposite what we have seen the last four years.”

More from the media followed. On “Reliable Sources,” ABC chief WH correspondent Jon Karl said:

“One symbol that I think would be very powerful and very important is for the Biden transition to begin immediately to hold regular press briefings. They haven’t done that as a campaign. It should happen now. It’s the media’s job to show that we ask tough questions of whoever is in power. We have certainly done that with Donald Trump. Now it’s certainly time to do it with President-Elect Biden.”

Stelter also quoted media law professor and CJR press freedom correspondent Jonathan Peters:

“There’s a variety of things any administration can do to shape press freedom and journalism practice (FOIA implementation, leak investigations, subpoenaing journalists, etc.), and they’re all important. But what I really hope the Biden-Harris administration does, early on, is make a strong public commitment to journalism and press freedom — to say emphatically that a free press, however imperfect, is the lifeblood of a healthy democracy. One in which journalists work in good faith to inform their communities and to enable democratic participation. This kind of commitment would go a long way toward helping to restore respect for the norms that underlie press freedom and its exercise.”

Stelter’s version of media confrontation with President Trump was made clear:

“The media’s adversarial approach that you’ve seen during the Trump years — demanding truth from power, calling out lies, criticizing indecency — that approach serves us well no matter who holds high office. If Biden says the blue sky is red, the media must call it out. Of course, different degrees of deception deserve to be treated differently. A slip of the tongue must not be equated with a smear campaign. But in all cases, the media stay on the side of the truth…”

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