Biden: To be a good reporter, ‘you’ve got to have a negative view of life’
President Biden said Wednesday that good reporters have to have a “negative view of life,” but they’ll be frustrated if they expect him to adopt the same attitude.
“Look, to be a good reporter you gotta be negative. You’ve got to have a negative view of life. OK? Seems to me the way you all, you never ask a positive question,” Biden said shortly before boarding Air Force One in Geneva to return to the U.S. after a week of diplomatic meetings in Europe.
Biden made the statements while answering a reporter’s questions about the chances of a positive outcome from his talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Earlier in the day, he snapped at CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins, who asked a similar question about negotiating with Putin.
While journalists may assume negative outcomes in their questions, Biden said “you’d guarantee nothing happens” if he approached talks the same way.
“There’s a value to being realistic and [to] put on a front, an optimistic face,” Biden said.
Reporters asked similarly negative questions about talks with the Group of Seven, the European Union and NATO, Biden said, adding that none of those assumptions proved true. The results wouldn’t have been the same, he said, had he gone into the meetings with less than positive expectations.
“Look guys, I’m going to drive y’all crazy because I know you want me to always put a negative thrust on things, particularly in public and [to] negotiate in public,” Biden said.
“I mean, you’re the brightest people in the country. You’re the most informed people on details. I’m not being solicitous. You are,” Biden said. “But it makes no sense for me to negotiate with you. It makes no sense to me to tell you what I’m about to do. Not because I want to hide anything from you. But why would I telegraph that?”
Earlier Wednesday, Biden and Putin met for approximately three hours, discussing issues such as Ukraine, the treatment of Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny, recent cyberattacks and allegations of election meddling.
The start of the meeting was marked by a shoving and shouting match between security guards and reporters.