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Biden busted again for using cheat sheet with reporter info at press conference

By Jake Beardslee · October 27, 2023

In brief…

  • Recent images showed Biden relying on cheat sheets with reporter names/photos at a press conference
  • Biden had a contentious exchange when asked about Hamas' Gaza death toll numbers
  • This follows an April press conference where Biden used a cheat sheet with a pre-planned question
  • Use of pre-planned cheat sheets has drawn mockery of Biden's press strategy
  • White House did not comment on Biden's cheat sheet use at the recent press conference
Images of President Biden using pre-planned cheat sheets with reporter names and suggested questions at press conferences have drawn mockery of his reliance on scripted interactions with the media.  The White House/Wikimedia

President Biden was recently photographed holding a cheat sheet with the names and photos of reporters while taking questions at a joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Wednesday. The images circulating online showed Biden relying on note cards that listed the four reporters who asked questions at the event - PBS’s Laura Barrón-López, USA Today’s Joey Garrison, Australia’s Channel 10 Network Political Editor Ashleigh Raper, and The Australian’s Jeff Chambers.

During the press conference, Biden had a contentious exchange with Barrón-López when she asked about the implications of the Palestinian death toll numbers coming from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry. Biden stated he has “no confidence” in the accuracy of those numbers provided by Hamas.

This is not the first instance of Biden using pre-planned cheat sheets with reporter names and photos when taking questions. A similar card appeared during an April press conference with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, which had a photo and suggested question for Los Angeles Times journalist Courtney Subramanian.

The reliance on cheat sheets full of pre-planned questions and suggested talking points has led to mockery of Biden’s press strategy. At his first press conference in March 2021, Biden was photographed handling cards with statistics and messaging guidance. The White House did not respond to requests for comment on Biden’s use of cheat sheets at the recent joint press conference.