White House Defends Biden's 'Indian Press Better-Behaved Than US Press' Comment

US President Joe Biden had praised the Indian media in his bilateral talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

2 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>US President Joe Biden. Image used for representational purposes.&nbsp;</p></div>

Days after United States President Joe Biden praised the Indian media in his bilateral talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the White House, on Monday, 27 September, defended the president's stance.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, speaking to American reporters, was quoted as saying by news agency PTI:

"I think what he said is that they're not always 'on point'. Now, I know that isn't something that anyone wants to hear here. But what I think he was conveying is, you know, today, he might want to talk about COVID vaccines; some of the questions were about that. He might want to talk about — and some of the questions are not always about the topic he's talking about that day."
Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary

"I don't think it was meant to be a hard cut at the members of the media — people he has taken questions from today and on Friday, 24 September, as well," she added.

What Had Happened

Biden, at the meeting with Modi on 24 September, had remarked the American reports ask questions that are "on point".

"The Indian press is much better behaved than the American press... And I think, with your permission, we should not answer questions because they won’t ask any questions on point," he had said.

A number of American journalists, who were attending a White House briefing on Monday, articulated their objection to the comparison between Indian media and the American media.

"I would just say to you that having now worked for the President, serving in this role for nine months, having seen that he's taking questions from the press more than 140 times... that he certainly respects the role of the press, the role of the freedom of the free press," the press secretary said in response, PTI reported.

Prime Minister Modi had met President Biden on 24 September, while on his five-day-long visit to the US.

"Had an outstanding meeting with President Biden. His leadership on critical global issues is commendable. We discussed how India and USA will further scale-up cooperation in different spheres and work together to overcome key challenges like COVID-19 and climate change," PM Modi had tweeted after his meeting with the US president.

(With inputs from PTI)

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