Reporters who were able to ask questions at Joe Biden's press conference Friday were torn apart by critics for failing to properly grill the Democratic presidential candidate.
Biden, who took questions for the second time this week after going approximately a month without holding a single press conference, spent much of his time blasting President Trump over a report in The Atlantic magazine that he disparaged fallen World War I soldiers during a trip to France in 2018.
However, those who were looking forward to hearing Biden respond to tough questions were left disappointed.
The first question, posed by Atlantic staff writer Edward-Isaac Dovere, was about the magazine's bombshell report.
"When you hear these remarks -- 'suckers,' 'losers,' recoiling from amputees, what does it tell you about President Trump's soul and the life he leads?" Dovere asked.
The Atlantic coresponded was followed by CNN's MJ Lee, who focused on remarks made by Trump made at a Thursday campaign rally that mocked Biden for his constant mask-wearing.
"I wonder if you worry that this kind of language that comes from the president of the United States can deter some Americans who are tuning into him to not wear masks," Lee told the former VP.
CBS News correspondent Ed O'Keefe squeezed in two questions for Biden, the first of which asked what the former vice president thought of Trump's supposed suggestion to voters that they should vote both by mail and in-person. The second question asked why Biden wasn't "angrier" at Trump's reported comments about the fallen soldiers.
ABC News correspondent Mary Bruce also questioned Biden about Trump's attempts to discourage mail-in voting but invoked Russia's efforts to "sow doubt" in the electoral process and whether Biden was "concerned" that such messaging may be working to disenfranchise his own supporters.
The less-than-rigorous lines of questioning left critics enraged.
"The media are simply the PR wing for the Biden campaign at this point," Ben Shapiro reacted.
Conservative commentator Stephen Miller singled out Lee for criticism, tweeting "Watch this question and how it's framed. She essentially gives Biden the answer in her question. She's making a statement and asking Biden to basically just reply to her."
RealClearInvestigations senior writer Mark Hemingway wrote, "A text from a friend watching the press conference: 'Who are asking Biden these questions?? It's like watching someone make sure a 3 year old wins CandyLand.'"
"4 years of 'but her emails' taunts worked. Reporters are worried that if they ask Biden a challenging question they'll be heckled as 'complicit' by the people whose opinions they care about," Washington Examiner executive editor Philip Klein concluded.
Fox News politics editor Chris Stirewalt also piled on the reporters for what he called their "shamefully embarrassing" behavior.
"So seldom do reporters get to ask Joe Biden questions, so seldom do reporters -- this is the second time really in quite a while ... and that was shamefully embarrassing," Stirewalt told "Outnumbered Overtime". "I mean, there were two questions in there that maybe could have been considered adversarial but that was as bad as when Trump calls on some niche pro-Trump publication to ask him how magnificent his magnificence is."
Stirewalt singled out O'Keefe for the question about why Biden wasn't "angrier" about Trump's reported comments, sarcastically calling it his "favorite."
"I'm just sitting here listening thinking, 'Don't you want to know about his plans? Don't you want to know about the controversy surrounding his plans? Don't you want to know anything?'" Stirewalt exclaimed. "The closest we got to adversarial questioning was when they were asking him about whether he got his coronavirus test up his nose or whatever."
"It was just a real missed opportunity," he added. "It was frustrating to see."