A curious move: Joe Biden closes Jacksonville event to most press

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A local reporter who was invited wasn't able to ask a question.

Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for President, has suffered from a lack of media coverage since the primary process was shut down amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

That didn’t stop the campaign from shutting media out during a “virtual roundtable” with prominent North Florida politicians.

The event showcased support from Sen. Audrey Gibson, who leads the Democratic caucus, and U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, who represents Florida’s 5th Congressional District.

Whereas the campaign hyped a Tampa “virtual rally” later in the day featuring Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, Florida Democratic Party chair Terrie Rizzo, and others, the campaign opted instead to use press pool coverage for the Jacksonville event, an odd choice considering the event was held digitally.

While pool coverage can be useful for events where space is limited, cyberspace is wide open.

Apparently unbeknownst to the campaign, a local news channel streamed the remarks live, which centered on Biden’s agenda for the African-American community.

Visible in the Zoom room was Steve Patterson, a veteran reporter with the Florida Times-Union. He did not get a question in.

The former Vice President vowed to “bring everybody along” in the economic recovery to come.

“I think the country’s ready,” Biden added.

Sen. Gibson lauded Biden’s “powerful” words, before queuing up questions for the candidate.

Biden showcased policy proposals, including opening up Medicare to people under 60 and to people in states like Florida where Medicaid was not expanded.

“Everyone who backed Medicare for All, please join us,” Biden said, in apparent outreach to Bernie Sanders supporters.

Biden also vowed no one would get “sick from the water and air where they live” if he were President, with doubled investment in infrastructure and a vow to hold polluters accountable.

He also vowed to make African-American churches eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program if elected.

The Republican National Committee highlighted the Jacksonville event in an email blast Thursday evening, deeming the exclusion of most media “a strange move that suggests a total lack of confidence in his message.”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Frankie M.

    May 7, 2020 at 4:31 pm

    Better to leave your mouth shut and remain a fool than to open it and remain all doubt..cough..trump..cough.

    • gary

      May 8, 2020 at 3:59 pm

      That’s not how it goes dummy! He closed it off because he can’t handle or face his crimes against woman…. you know, like the other democrat rapists and pedos!

      • Paul

        May 11, 2020 at 6:28 pm

        Pedos? They practically run the Republican party. So because your candidate braggs about his molesting its alright with you?

Comments are closed.


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