President Biden on Wednesday greeted members of the press on his way into the White House and exchanged fist bumps with some in a notable contrast from former President TrumpDonald TrumpPredictions of disaster for Democrats aren't guarantees of midterm failure A review of President Biden's first year on border policy Hannity after Jan. 6 texted McEnany 'no more stolen election talk' in five-point plan for Trump MORE’s contentious relationship with the media.
The newly-inaugurated president was filmed offering a fist bump to NBC’s "Today" personality Al Roker and reportedly told other members of the press “keep doing what you’re doing.”
The president's comments to the press come following a predecessor who frequently railed against the media, attacking them as “the enemy of the people.”
Those in the media industry were sharply critical of such rhetoric, particularly after numerous journalists and photographers were caught in the midst of the lockdown imposed during the deadly Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol.
Members of the media have also been critical of prior administrations for lack of transparency and press access, something they hope the new administration can change.
This week, the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), in a letter to Biden, asked him to rescind rules that began under Obama and they said worsened under Trump that restrict which agency personnel can speak to the press.
“SPJ believes the nation is suffering the consequences of these controls during the COVID-19 pandemic. Agencies that the public count on, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, have stymied reporting for years,” the letter states. “Often, the press is not allowed in their facilities and reporters are prohibited from contacting staff without the authorities’ oversight; in reality, reporters are often not allowed to speak to anyone.”