Thanks to a photograph snapped by a photographer for Getty, the public now knows Biden was ready for a foreign policy question by a Los Angeles Times reporter, Courtney Subramanian. Not only did the card describe the overall topic – foreign policy – it said she would ask about semiconductor manufacturing, a topic that relates to China and Taiwan.
And not only did it list the topic and the question, it included a photo of the reporter and her name, and a phonetic pronunciation.
In the press conference, Biden called on Subramanian first which is likely why her card was on top.
After the cheat sheet photo went viral, then came the explanations, denials, and half-truths. Back at the White House, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked by a Fox News reporter, Jacqui Heinrich, about the photo.
“The L.A. Times said that their reporter did not submit any questions in advance of yesterday’s press conference,” Heinrich pointed out. “So to people who saw that pocket card, can you explain how that ended up there and why the President needed something like that?”
Replying to the direct question, Jean-Pierre called it “entirely normal” for the President to be “briefed” on the reporters and their topics before a press conference.
“We do not have specific questions in advance. That's not something that we do,” she insisted, even though the card was evidence that is something they do and just got caught.
“And in fact,” she continued, “I would point out the questions that was asked was different than what it was on the card that you all saw.”
That point is technically true, since the cheat sheet and Subramanian’s question to Biden are not word-for-word the same. Yet the reporter asked about the same topic: chip manufacturing in China and U.S. competition to manufacture them here.
'Disheartening' to witness collusion
Reacting to the cheat sheet scandal, talk show host Richard Randall tells AFN he was amazed – in the worst way – to learn the president of the United States needs a cheat sheet with so many details.
“The photograph. Name. The order of the question. Pretty much what the question is going to be,” he says, describing the card. “That's frightening in and of itself.”
What’s even worse, he adds, is for it to be clearly obvious now that the national media is willing to cooperate with the White House in order to get a question asked at a press conference.
“That the L.A. Times and other media outlets would be willing to play this game,” he says, “is disheartening and it really, really concerns me.”
Now that the public saw the backroom collusion, the national media came to the rescue. In a story the next day, The Washington Post insisted it is routine for the White House to “poll reporters about their priorities and interests.”
Veteran conservative activist Gary Bauer tells AFN most of the national media acts like "an arm" of the Democrat Party. That collusion has always made it difficult for Republicans and conservatives to get their message out, he says, but now the public is witnessing that unethical behavior.