US president Joe Biden was caught on a hot mic cursing a Fox News reporter at a White House event on Monday after the journalist shouted a question about the impact of rising inflation on this year’s congressional elections.
As journalists were ushered out of a meeting of Mr Biden’s Competition Council, Peter Doocy, a White House correspondent with whom Mr Biden regularly spars, asked if it was okay to ask about inflation and if it was a political liability.
“That’s a great asset, more inflation,” Mr Biden responded sarcastically over a din of reporters shouting questions, apparently not realising his microphone was still on. “What a stupid son of a bitch,” he added.
US consumer prices increased solidly in December, culminating in the largest annual rise in inflation in nearly four decades.
The White House and Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Pledge on incivility
Mr Biden took office a year ago pledging to take a hard line on any incivility among members of his administration.
“If you’re ever working with me and I hear you treat another colleague with disrespect, talk down to someone, I promise you I will fire you on the spot... no ifs, ands or buts,” Mr Biden told political appointees during a virtual swearing-in ceremony. “Everybody is entitled to be treated with decency and dignity,” he said at the time.
Mr Biden’s predecessor, Republican Donald Trump, famously attacked reporters at rallies and news conferences, to the delight of many of his supporters.
Doocy, who has long covered Mr Biden, regularly gets called on by the president at events, often asking sceptical and critical questions. Conservative-leaning Fox News has been critical of Mr Biden’s presidency and Democrats. – Reuters