Biden scolds media on how to cover his impeachment inquiry. What a bunch of bull jerky.

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I’ve always found it interesting (OK, actually annoying) when people feel the need to tell me how I could do my job better – or that they could do it better than I ever could.

Yet, that comes with the territory of writing your opinions for a living. My readers have a right to tell me what they think.

But you know who doesn’t? President Joe Biden – or any government official.

Our First Amendment creates a firm wall between the press and the government, allowing for the greatest protections of free speech seen anywhere in the world.

The Biden administration, however, just can’t stop itself from meddling with the news media.

On Wednesday, the White House issued a memo to news outlets that, frankly, they should find appalling – and, at the very least, insulting. The memo is in response to House Republicans opening an impeachment inquiry on Tuesday into the Biden family's alleged corruption and influence peddling.

Then-Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden addresses a crowd at a Spartanburg rally in 2019.
Then-Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden addresses a crowd at a Spartanburg rally in 2019.

Even the title of the memo is cringeworthy: “It’s Time For The Media To Do More To Scrutinize House Republicans’ Demonstrably False Claims That They’re Basing Impeachment Stunt On.”

The memo was sent by Ian Sams, the White House spokesperson for oversight and investigations.

A journalism lesson from Biden? No thanks.

“For years, Republicans in Congress have tried to muddy the waters by attracting media coverage of their allegations, and as they choose to move forward with impeachment, it is the responsibility of the independent press to treat their claims with the appropriate scrutiny,” the memo scolds. “Covering impeachment as a process story – Republicans say X, but the White House says Y – is a disservice to the American public who relies on the independent press to hold those in power accountable.”

Perhaps the White House can’t see the irony, but what it’s accusing Republicans here of doing is exactly what Democrats did to Donald Trump throughout his presidency.

Trump was right: 'Russian collusion' was a hoax. Good luck regaining public's trust.

Then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in 2019 set the precedent for how House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is handling the Biden impeachment inquiry. Democrats are melting down now that McCarthy is simply following Pelosi’s playbook.

That’s not the most glaring issue at play here, though.

The White House completely misses the mark on what it refers to as a “disservice to the American public.” It’s not the media’s coverage of the impeachment inquiry – rather, it’s the Biden administration's attempt to manipulate the free press that should set off alarm bells.

White House thinks it deserves special treatment

The Biden administration is clearly miffed that it seems to be losing its grip on the mainstream media, which has long favored Democrats. And it’s likely fearful that more negative coverage could sink Biden’s chances at a second term.

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Regardless, the federal government has no business giving direction or orders to the national news media. In fact, on Friday, the Biden administration got its hand slapped hard by a federal appeals court for its interference with social media companies and its attempt to suppress views of COVID-19 that it didn’t like – as well as negative coverage of both Biden and his son Hunter.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the White House coerced platforms like Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) through “intimidating messages and threats of adverse consequences” to keep certain information off their sites. That equates to the government silencing the free speech of citizens.

Victory for free speech: Federal judge rules president can't censor our social media feeds

In its new memo, the White House warns “process stories that fail to unpack the illegitimacy of the claims on which House Republicans are basing all their actions only serve to generate confusion, put false premises in people’s feeds, and obscure the truth.”

USA TODAY columnist Ingrid Jacques
USA TODAY columnist Ingrid Jacques

Think of the impeachment inquiry what you wish. But If anyone is trying to “generate confusion” and “obscure the truth,” it’s not Republicans – it’s the Biden administration.

Ingrid Jacques is a columnist at USA TODAY. Contact her at or on X, formerly Twitter: @Ingrid_Jacques 

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Biden tells media how to cover GOP impeachment inquiry. Nice try, Joe