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Washington: The White House has tried to calm the angry US media following a remark by US President Joe Biden. A senior White House official said that the US President's remarks were not meant to be harsh.
Joe Biden had said that the Indian press behaves better than its American counterparts.
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US President Joe Biden praised the Indian press during his first personal bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the White House on Friday and described it as "behaving better" than the American media.
Criticizing American journalists, he said that they do not ask the right questions in front of a foreign head of government/state.
White House Press Secretary Jane Sackie faced a number of questions Monday about Joe Biden's remarks to U.S. journalists. However, he also defended the President's remarks.
"I think what he said was that reporters are not always on point. He was talking about someone else. He probably wants to talk about COVID-19 vaccines. Some questions were about this. And some questions aren't always about the topic he's talking about that day," Saki said.
“I don’t think it was said in a somewhat harsh tone on the media people,” she added.
At the White House briefing, another reporter objected to the comparison between the Indian and American media.
"According to Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the Indian press ranks 142nd in the world for press freedom," the reporter said.
"How can he say more about the American press than the Indian press?"
On this, Saki said, 'I will just tell you that now after working for the President and serving in this role for nine months, given that he has spoken to the press more than 140 times. He certainly respects the role of the press, the independent press."
According to the RSF, the American media ranks 44th in terms of press freedom.