Staffers for former Vice President Joe Biden are reportedly physically blocking off reporters from covering the Democrat on the 2020 campaign trail, presumably at the candidate’s directive.
On Wednesday, Marcus DiPaola, a freelance producer covering Biden and other Democratic candidates, posted a thread to Twitter outlining the concerning actions from Biden staffers toward journalists. DiPaola indicated that it was necessary for him to make the behavior public since most reporters covering the high-profile Democrat are not freelance and are only covering the 76-year-old; speaking out could therefore jeopardize coverage and journalistic access.
“A reporter approached [Joe Biden] to ask a question and a member of his staff told the reporter to leave, and when the reporter explained that they were just doing their job, the staffer said she was too. The staffer then took a photo of the reporter,” DiPaola said. “A different reporter just told me that yesterday a staff member physically put their body between the reporter and [Joe Biden]. The reporter said they weren’t even that close and that there were several supporters between the reporter and Biden.”
“This second reporter tells me the staffer physically invaded their space to the point that the reporter could smell the staffer’s ponytail,” DiPaola continued.
“A THIRD reporter just told me that a staff member physically put their body between [Joe Biden] and the reporter, moments ago at this rally in Des Moines.”
The third reporter told the producer that a Biden staffer “blocked his camera shot by putting up her hands,” DiPaola noted.
Team Biden “just tried to remove us from what appears to be a public lot, said we could not ask questions,” he said in another tweet, captioning a photo of the chaos:
“While getting the video I just shot of Biden calling for Barr to resign, a [Joe Biden] staffer physically placed her body between me and the candidate, causing me to bump into her,” he closed the thread.
“Getting this question a lot,” DiPaola said when asked why other reporters weren’t flagging the Biden staffers’ behavior. “The answer is some of them cover Biden regularly and don’t want to jeopardize their relationship with the campaign. Some have to get permission from their employers to speak on-the-record. I’m a freelancer. I’m a nobody. I can tweet whatever I want.”
Biden officially announced his candidacy in a pre-recorded video released last Thursday morning. Shortly after announcing, the Democrat made his way to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to offer a 27-minute stump speech. As showcased in a compilation video put together by Grabien Media, the speech didn’t go so smoothly; Biden jumbled and slurred his words at least 12 times.
The candidate has also appeared on “The View,” taking questions about women who have accused him of making them uncomfortable with his infamous overly-touchy style.