The White House’s game-playing over media access to first granddaughter Naomi Biden’s wedding this past weekend has been too much for some reporters to take — with one Washington Post scribe comparing the administration to Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump.

WaPo national correspondent Ashley Parker was one of several journalists to express outrage after the press was locked out of Naomi Biden’s “private” wedding — only for Vogue to publish a photo spread of the blushing 28-year-old bride alongside first lady Jill Biden on Tuesday.

“I had reporting in [October] about Vogue being tapped to cover this and I was waved off,” groused New York Times correspondent Katie Rogers. “Official explanation is that Vogue wasn’t there the day of. Loophole = the family staged a ‘wedding at the WH’ shoot beforehand. ‘Private’ per @PressSec = not for the White House press corps.”

“I spent four years covering the Trump WH and two years covering the Biden WH,” Parker tweeted in response to Rogers. “What’s fascinating is that they both lie, albeit in [very] different ways. Trump team was shameless, whereas Biden team is too cute by half.”

President Biden, first lady Jill Biden pose with Naomi Biden and husband Peter Neal
Naomi Biden, the granddaughter of President Biden and first lady Jill Biden, married Peter Neal at the White House last Saturday.
2022 Adam Schultz/The White Hous

Jean-Pierre addressed the Vogue controversy on Tuesday, denying the outlet was given exclusive access to the ceremony. 

“Vogue did not attend the wedding… there was no press access,” Jean-Pierre insisted. “Vogue did a portrait shoot on Thursday afternoon” and “embargoed it until today to give ample time for the photos to be in the public sphere.”

Still, Parker doubled down and claimed it wasn’t the first lie told by the Biden administration.

“TO BE CLEAR: Not all lies are created equal and the magnitude, frequency and audacity is certainly different. But the Biden WH, for ex, has also waived [sic] us off correct reporting about Biden’s SCOTUS pick, his Egypt trip, attendees in private meetings, etc,” she tweeted.

Ashley Parker
Ashley Parker, a Washington Post national correspondent, accused the White House of lying after the media was locked out of Naomi Biden’s “private” wedding.
The Washington Post via Getty Im

The White House later clapped back at one of Parker’s claims, insisting the Washington Post had reported on Biden’s post-midterms Egypt trip before it was confirmed.

“To be clear, the Washington Post reported a trip was confirmed before it was. We told you on the record that it was not confirmed,” assistant press secretary Abdullah Hasan tweeted. “We even offered WaPo the exclusive if and when confirmed. We’d never put our credibility on the line, especially not over something like scheduling.”

Meanwhile, a string of other reporters at left-leaning outlets also took to Twitter to call out the White House for misleading reporters about Naomi’s wedding coverage.

“We cover the small lies politicians tell because they can give way to bigger ones, for folks wondering why this is news,” wrote Rogers’ Times colleague Maggie Haberman. “That’s what the press is supposed to do.”

The Vogue spread cover
A slew of reporters took to Twitter to air their grievances just hours after Vogue published the exclusive wedding spread featuring Jill and Naomi Biden.
Norman Jean Roy
Naomi Biden
The White House insisted there was no press access to the wedding itself.

“I think we all sort of knew this would happen, but if they wouldn’t let the pool photographers in because the rights were sold, we should have known,” complained Niels Lesniewski of Roll Call.

A Vogue spokesperson told The Post Wednesday that the magazine did not pay for the exclusive access.

Nancy Cook, Bloomberg’s White House correspondent, pointed directly to the press secretary’s prior statements about the “private” wedding.

“White House press secretary Karine Jeanne-Pierre on Nov. 18: ‘They have decided to make this wedding private. It is a family event. It is — and we are going to respect Naomi and Peter’s wishes’,” Cook added.

Naomi, whose father is scandal-plagued first son Hunter Biden, wed her now-husband, Peter Neal, 25, in front of 250 family members and friends on the South Lawn.

While the photos included in the Vogue spread were shot prior to the big day, the 1,800 word article included details of key moments — including how Naomi was walked down the aisle by her parents, Hunter and his ex-wife Kathleen Buhle.

Naomi and Jill Biden
The photoshoot involving Naomi Biden and her grandmother, first lady Jill Biden, was done in the lead up to the wedding, the White House said.
Norman Jean Roy

Elsewhere in the piece, Naomi described her White House nuptials as a “backyard” wedding.

“We’re so close to our families, so we always knew we’d get married in someone’s backyard,” Naomi told the magazine. “I think if my pop weren’t president, it would probably be their house in Wilmington or Peter’s family’s backyard in Jackson [Wyoming].”

“There’s just such beauty and history in this place, and we really wanted to honor that,” she added of the unique White House venue.

There have been 19 weddings held at the White House, with all others in the modern era having had some form of regular press coverage.

Administration reps did not immediately respond to requests for additional comment.


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Tyler Cowan