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The Puppet President: How Biden Relies on Pre-Recorded Messages and Cheat Sheets

The Puppet President: How Biden Relies on Pre-Recorded Messages and Cheat Sheets

In a previous commentary, I went to some length in focusing on President Biden’s ability to perform in public.  That is why his public statements are often pre-recorded video messages.  That is why he built a television set in the White House. 

Why he rarely utters an impromptu statement – and why he relies on teleprompters and pocket notes — cheat sheets as they have been dubbed.  He has become more of a virtual digitally generated image than a flesh and blood President.  (Note to conspiracy theory types:  I am not saying Biden IS a digitally generated character – just seems that way.)

His inability to perform off the cuff without gaffes and senior moments is the reason he has held fewer press conferences than any modern President.  We have recently seen a vivid example of the problem.  But it is not just Biden’s necessity to rely on notes – even on obvious information.  (You might recall the time his inadvertently revealed cheat sheet had to inform him to enter the room … say hello to guests … and sit in his chair at the head of the conference table.)

In his recent rare press conference, Biden not only revealed his need for speaker crutches but a very disturbing relationship between the press and the President.  There have been both rumors and complaints that the press was either providing Biden with questions in advance – or, even worse, accepting questions provided by the White House Press Office.

We do not need to rely on suspicion or speculation anymore.  We saw it in real-time. 

It seems Biden is not a poker player — or he would know to hide his hand from others around the table.  Instead, Biden inadvertently revealed the information on his cheat sheets.  This time it was a scandal-level boo-boo.

Biden’s cheat sheet had a picture of Courtney Subramanian of the Los Angels Times and the question she would ask – along with talking points for his response.  Then there was the video of her reading the question from her own cheat sheet.

I am sure the leftwing press will play down the incident – largely because they are engaged in the same biased game.  But in terms of journalistic norms, traditions, and ethics, this is a class-A felony.  There should be an inquiry into the scope of this problem.  How many other White House reporters engage in this sort of staged exchange? 

There should be an explanation from the White House.  Will this be brought up during the daily White House briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre?  (It was, and Jean-Pierre dodged).

And what does the Los Angeles Times have to say?  It is their credibility that is being undermined.  Will they make a policy statement condemning the practice?  Will they fire Subramanian — as they should?

We will have to wait and see how this plays out, but we should not underestimate the harm this conspiracy does to the meaning of a free and independent news media.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Frank stetson

    Republican candidates are not to go to the press either. DeSantis basically avoids them and his handlers help them a lot.

    Trump does the scrum, but rarely has a press conference

    Yes, Joe uses three cheats, but at least he has regular press conferences. He also has quite a few interviews. Although, whenever he has a press conference, and he leaves the podium, I shutter whenever he stops, and turns around…. What happens next is generally why he is somewhat scripted and handled.

    • larry Horist

      Frank Stetson … You are spreading more false information. Biden is notorious for have the fewest press conference of any modern President. Even the left-wing press complains. And even then, the questions are rigged and staged. he rarely responds off-the-cuff. When he travels, he is in a protective bubble that precludes interaction with press and people — and don’t give me the security excuse. He has relatively few interviews — and then only with friendly reporters with softball questions. Come on, man. Stop lying for you guy.

      • Tom

        You are correct Larry, as verified by this list at **. However two more facts you can get from this list: 1) Overall, Dems have held more press conferences, and, 2) Biden in the middle of his first term has already held more press conferences that our national GOP hero Ronald Reagan. Apparently Reagan, from his background, knew all to well the lethality of speaking with the press. Reagan average during his two terms = 5.75 press conferences per year. Biden in his first three years has had 10.22 press conferences per year, which is almost double the number under Reagan. These are irrefutable facts!

        So if press conferences is the bar to determine ability to perform, then shall we concede that Reagan has a worse than President Biden’s ability to perform in public? Despite his movie making/acting ability? And by the way, it is very well known and acknowledged that Nancy heavily scripted Reagan’s last two years and possibly more, as he sunk deeper into Alzheimer’s Disease.

      • Frank stetson

        You are correct and I am wrong, Biden has had the fewest press conferences since Nixon and Reagan. And he is handled.

        But, I am correct that DeSantis is handled as well and minimizes any press contact.

        Thanks for the update, although your clever little word trick of “more“ which is usually your trademark “once again“ is a bogus to be tracked that you are well known to deploy amongst your mini debate tricks that you use.

  2. Darren

    What difference does it make how many Press conferences Biden takes.
    If non of them are real, he could have one every day and we can be lied to everyday!
    Any Democrat who does not see this as wrong, or tries to justify the actions, they are as big a joke as Biden.
    How can anyone defend this kind of behavior from the PRESIDENT.

    People got mad at Trump for speaking his mind. At least they were his thoughts.
    Clown Puppet is what we have in office.
    But the intelligent people already know this.

    • Tom

      Darren, I did not get mad at Trump saying his impromptu thoughts. I got horrified – which is much different than mad. Africa got mad, for example, when he called it a “shithole”. I got horrified when he told me to drink Clorox Bleach. Do you see the difference Darren?

  3. Tom

    I agree with you Larry that Biden gets softball questions that for the most part, even I know the answers to most of them from reading the news. And KJP does do a lot of fancy footwork and dodging just like several press coordinators did for Trump. As an independent/unaffiliated voter I loath dodging by anyone, including you – as you have often dodged the irrefutable facts that I have presented – yet I do not call for people to stop reading you. I do respect you and your right to dodge. But I also agree with Frank on DeSantis, and, after several major gaffs of arrogance where Trump staff feared his impromptu answering of questions, Trump had less conferences too. In the case of Biden, he and his staff are keenly aware of Steve Deucy and his well researched gotchya questions for which I am glad he asks.

    The two issues I have with this blog is: 1) Independence, and 2) calling for someone’s firing. Let me handle #2 first.

    #2 – No, I do not think Subramanian should be fired nor calls for a firing. What the LA Times should do if THEY determine a breach of trust has been committed against their documented corporate policy, that damages their reputation, they should address the issue by policy statement (which I hope they have) and retraining or ethics training of the individual committing the violation. I do not think it is a breach of public trust for a question to be provided to the recipient in advance because the whole element of surprise that you advocate deals with unpredictability which by its nature means it can not be trusted. Conversely, if questions are not supplied in advance, then both the recipient and the public are subjected to the same exact element of unpredictability, or absence of trust. Hence I do not see a breach of trust by supplying questions in advance.

    #1 – Independence. This one is a bit more tricky. Independent from whom? For what reason? I am an independent voter which means I do not hold any allegiance to either party. The key word here in defining independence is allegiance. Independence means allegiance does not exist. The tricky aspect lies in this view. If the Biden administration provided the questions and talking points for the LA Times, then to me the LA Times is not independent but even this gets tricky at best because the LA Times still has the independence of thought to use or not use the question. Thus if the question is provided and the LA Times decided of their own free accord to use the question, independence has been established in the decision. Now the question becomes the question itself. Would the LA Times or some other news outlet be reasonably expected to ask such a question. If the answer is yes, then independence is established and the Biden staff is merely expressing cordiality in providing questions they would like to see covered by the press. If the answer is no, then independence is not established and the new entity is beholding to the question provider, thus there is an allegiance relationship for that question which leads to the concept of “scripting” which implies “predetermined outcome” which is by its nature a lack of independence because scripting implies dependence; and the provider of the question should note this at the beginning of the discussion, and to not do so is an ethics violation in my thinking.

    • Tom

      NOTE: When I say, ” Independence means allegiance does not exist. ” I mean allegiance to party. Allegiance to the betterment of our country and allegiance to examine the issues and candidate answer to the issues still exists. I sure wish this blog allowed us to edit our answers! LOL

  4. Americafirst

    If anyone cares to, you can go to your search bar and type in” Gitmo tribunals or word it anyway you want, you will get lists and lists of the people that have been arrested, taken to Gitmo for tribunals, either get life in prison, told to behave so they can go back to society or else, and the ones that have been executed. You will find Joe Biden there. Executed in 2019. I have a video of Joe’s tribunal. You should have seen the look on his face when he was given the death penalty. I will never forget it. You would be shocked how many people are not the real people we think is out there; elite, Kings & queens, presidents of other countries, Hollywood, business owners, etc. Shocking!

    • Tom

      Actually it is much more plausible that the CIA found and used a body double for Biden and the double is the POTUS. This is essentially what the CIA did with JFK. They found a body double in the form of a Dallas beat cop. Shot him. Exchanged the body because they knew the remaining parts of the skull and brains would show the direction of the bullets were from the front of the motorcade, not the rear where Lee Harvey Oswald was in the upper story of the library book storage room. For more, google “Its all a Rich Man’s Trick, Youtube” and view the 3 hour very interesting case!

      I mean view it when you are back on earth!

      • larry Horist

        Tom … You trying to spread phony conspiracy theories?

        • Tom

          No not at all. Have you ever seen the youtube video by an English historian, it’s called “Its all a Rich Man’s Trick”. See it at: **. I would enjoy hearing your take on it. Especially the picture of what appears to be G.H.W. Bush being there when he said he was not. Very interesting stuff. We must remember, Kennedy vowed to “smash the CIA” in his words. I do think CIA Bush, VPOTUS Johnson, mob, FBI Hoover, Military Industrial Complex leaders, Failed Bay of Pigs assassins, Oswald the convenient patsy, Jacob Leon Rubenstein Men’s club owner who silenced Oswald, and others were all involved in the conspiracy. I have always been sorry for the Kennedy assassination. It was when I think this country lost its inocense.

          By the way, one of the persons mentioned in the overall conspiracy actually may be a relative of mine.

          Watch the video, I am very open to your thoughts.

          • Frank stetson

            My dad used to hang with the nephew of the first guy that Bobby Kennedy got from the mafia. Lots of funny stories is there. Like being poor in college, kids, and being offered a chance to go to “the club“ which, in this case was a converted church. My father being a dumb kid, ordered rocky mountain oysters and when they came, he was going to jump up and say something but when he looked around there were all these guys with heavy overcoats packing. He said the oysters were pretty good…

            Another story is the guy gets married, and they move into Levitown. Obviously a new community it had builders shrubbery. Well, the wife was complaining in front of the mafia guy who apparently everyone owed. This is why my father was there because they had the best steaks. The next day, 10 trucks rolled up, and they commence to roll up the yard and everything in it as this guy started yelling no no no no stop. He was legit and this did not look good at all. although, his college job was that on Friday, three limos pulled up, he got in the middle one, they went to the bank, picked up a number of bags of money, and then he went to the country for the traveling crap game. Almost legal?

            Funny times.

          • larry Horist

            Tom … I viewed the entire thing. I cannot believe that you — or any intelligent person — would give and credence to that piece of historic crap. It was paranoid conspiracy theory on steroids. Not sure why they left out the Lincoln assassinations theories. I actually spend a fair amount of time researching the Kennedy assassination. This documentary (?) was as nonsensical as anything I have every heard. Bullets flying all over Dallas … body switches … post mortem surgery aboard Air Force 2. This would not even fly as a Hollywood script. Actually, it was jack Kennedy who had the ties to the Mob through his father. JFK was surprised at his brothers investigations of the MOB and tried to get him to chill. that was also true of racial issues. JFK was aligned to the southern Democrats … but Bobby was not and pushed him to sent in troops. In this thing, you have hundreds of participants doing things that would be obvious to thousands. And it is all a big secret. Like the host said about his targets … he took a few facts and weaved and incredible scenario around them. Lots of factual misrepresentations. Total garbage. Do you really give this ANY consideration at all? Have you read the Warren Report? It would time me forever to point out every misinformation. Pablum for the paranoid.

  5. Barry

    Biden’s presidency is like Star Trek episode 2:21… Patterns of Force.

    • Jpop

      I was thinking the exact same thing, Barry. That is one of my favorite episodes.

  6. Tom

    Larry, no I have not read the Warren Report. Since nobody has come forward with the real true story and reason for JFK assassination, I give all of it equal weight and look forward to learning which one was correct. I do think JFK’s assassination was a watershed moment in US history where the country we knew ceased to exist.

    I do believe that the CIA does more harm than good. When you have an organization that is responsible for the failed Bay of Pigs that the president did not know about, uses mind control, has performed political assassinations and supported political as well as bad actor assassinations, physical torture, enhanced interrogations, waterboarding, spying, counterfeiting, – why is a body swap such a stretch??? LOL

    In a report to the Deputy Attorney General of the United States, CIA officials described the agency as having “no active part” in the assassination of Rafael Trujillo, dictator of the Dominican Republic. Trujillo was effective head of government at the time of his assassination in 1961, and CIA said they only a “faint connection” with the groups that planned the killing. However, the internal investigation by the CIA’s Inspector General “disclosed quite extensive Agency involvement with the plotters. The CIA is an agency who specializes in ambiguity and lies to further political goals.

    And lets not forget the CIA involvement with Colonel Oliver North and guns for drugs scheme conceived and authored by the CIA!

    So why would a simple body swap be so outrageous for the CIA??? IT is totally within their character!

    By the way, The US Senate latest investigation says the following in Summary Section C, that the Warren Commission was not given a lot of evidence that the CIA knew about. Summary located at

    It did not review one of the prin- cipal questions facing the Commission: whether Lee Harvey Oswald was in fact the assassin of President Kennedy. Instead, …

    “C. Findings

    The Committee emphasizes that it has not uncovered any evidence
    sufficient to justify a conclusion that there was a conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy.
    The Committee has, however, developed evidence which impeaches
    the process by which the intelligence agencies arrived at their own
    conclusions about the assassination, and by which they provided information to the Warren Commission. This evidence indicates that
    the investigation of the assassination was deficient and that facts
    which might have substantially affected the course of the investigation were not provided the Warren Commission or those individuals
    within the FBI and the CIA, as well as other agencies of Go

    So why should I believe a Warren report that our Senate says in incomplete and was denied facts that would have affected the course of the investigation and most likely might have fingered the CIA???

    • larry Horist

      Tom … it is easy to believe that there is some untold story behind the Kennedy assassination. But, I think all the evidence establishes that Oswald was the lone shooter. He could have been self motivated based on his political involvements. The harder thing to understand is Jack Ruby shooting Oswald. From day one, he never seemed like the type of guy who would be overcome with grief. Personally, I have not ruled out one possibility — a Mafia hit. The Mob felt betrayed after giving its full support to Kennedy. It would have been set up by enemies of Sam Giancana because Sam was the go-between the Mob and Kennedy. And that is why Giancana was also knocked off. The other conspiracy theories — and all that stuff in the documentary you recommended — is pure crap, in my judgment. And I did a lot of research in those years.

      • frank stetson

        Amazingly, Giancana was buds with Gyp DeCarlo, one of the first one’s Bobby pegged, seen in “Jersey Boys” with Frankie Valli but also friends with Sinatra. My father hung with DeCarlo’s relatives, legit, in college, knew Gyp well, a fine fellow who everyone owed while my FIL saved Sinatra’s voice in NYC, all about the same time and then complained that the guy wouldn’t stop pestering him. Tis a small world…..

        I have no problem with a Mafia hit, but multiple shooters seems a stretch. Mafia ties include Joe and bootlegging, John F and getting elected, and then Bobby busting them all —— Bobby may have been the straw the broke the camel’s back but the grudges could have run much deeper.