Did Biden Use 'Cheat Sheet' during Press Conference with Australian PM Albanese?

White House Defends the US President Saying "It is a standard protocol"

In a recent joint press conference held on Wednesday, President Joe Biden was once again observed using a notecard to assist in recalling reporters' names and faces. The event, which featured the President alongside Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, garnered significant attention after an image circulated on the internet, revealing Biden's reliance on a cheat sheet for this purpose.

Joe Biden

During the press conference, four reporters, two from each nation, posed questions to the leaders. The revelation of Biden's notecard came approximately 24 hours after the event, when the image in question began to circulate online. This notecard contained the names and photos of the reporters who asked questions during the conference.

The list of reporters on the notecard included PBS correspondent Laura Barrón-López, USA Today White House correspondent Joey Garrison, Australia's Channel 10 Network Political Editor Ashleigh Raper, and The Australian's Jeff Chambers. These were the individuals who had the opportunity to question the leaders during the press conference.

Biden holding notecard

Notably, Laura Barrón-López engaged in a significant exchange with President Biden during the event. When she asked about the implications of the Palestinian death toll, President Biden expressed skepticism about the accuracy of numbers provided by the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry, stating that he had "no confidence" in their truthfulness.

"What they say to me is I have no notion that the Palestinians are telling the truth about how many people are killed. I'm sure innocents have been killed, and it's the price of waging a war," Biden said.

Though this is not the first time that the US President has used such notecards, Biden has been seen using a 'cheat sheet' on previous occasions. During an April joint press conference with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, a note card was observed, featuring the image, name, and pronunciation of Los Angeles Times journalist Courtney Subram

After the incident became the point of discussion, the White House defended President Biden's use of the notecard as standard protocol and consistent with the press office's role in preparing the President for press conferences.

According to White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, it is entirely customary for a president to be briefed on the reporters who will be posing questions during a press conference and the potential subjects they might inquire about. Jean-Pierre conveyed this information during her daily briefing on Thursday.

This article was first published on October 29, 2023