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Article published : Saturday, May 15th, 2021 10:00 am
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Reporter gets stumped when White House press sec. Psaki turns his hack question back on him One benefit to the conservative sphere's IQ of diminishing returns is that it is very easy to spot and answer what passes for 'gotcha' journalism among& Republicans these days. White House press secretary Jen Psaki's job is to, as diplomatically as possible, promote the Biden administration's agenda and not be an embarrassment to the country. In some respects it is a very simple job. But it is not an easy job. As the last administration showed us all, it can also provide the world with a public manifestation of the behind-the-scenes corruption and ineptitude of an incompetent and malignant administration. The conservative media does not have much in the way of policy to ask about. They can spew conspiracy theory hooey, but they do not have much intellect or serious integrity when it comes to investigating what the Biden administration is doing or not doing for the American people. As a result, press secretary Psaki has shown great acumen in flipping around what amounts to conservative talking points, thinly disguised as media questions, from right-wing news correspondents.& On Friday, Psaki fielded two& back-to-back, made-up Republican talking-point crises from the same reporter. As politely as possible, and not in so& many words, she told him to go back to school. The reporter began by asking about the release of the 2020 Human Rights Report and Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying that human rights around the world should always be a No. 1& priority, and aren't mutually exclusive from the rights that people have to practice their religions.& "Why should the faith community not see that as a de-emphasis when the previous administration made religious freedom a top priority?" the reporter asked. Psaki takes this made-up issue, which in all honesty is a damning statement about the so-called "faith community," and points out that human rights include people's right to practice their religion. JEN PSAKI:& What the secretary, and certainly the state department—religious freedom—what he& was saying is it's incredibly important around the world, and we're going to work to protect that. And I think our U.S.& policies convey that. As is the freedom of speech, the freedom of expression, and you know, the role of the state department, when they put out this report and any report is certainly to convey what our values are in the United States and what we're going to convey as we engage diplomatically around the world. He followed that up by beginning his next "question," by saying& "What do you say to those who are criticizing the president who has not to date made an& in-person visit to the southwest border?" Can you believe this BS? Psaki asks, "Like who?" Reporter: "Criticism from those in the Republican Party. Criticism from others." He felt good about his answer. Or that piece of him that once was filled with dreams of doing important reporting work just farted into his soul.& We are less worried about press conferences or political games that are being played by some. —Jen Psaki Psaki responds that she has no idea who she is responding to. The reporter then adds that "one of the senators" had a press conference the "other day," where "that was a major criticism." I'm not making this up. There's video below. Psaki repeats that last part "one of the senators," just to drive home the point that this reporter should listen to what he just said out loud while& addressing the White House press secretary about President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris'& actions. Quickly, the reporter murmurs Rick Scott. Maybe Rick Scott has this poor lost soul's conscience sunk in a dungeon somewhere? Hard to say. Psaki gives an answer about how holding press conferences while offering zero ideas is not leading, nor is it productive.& She explained that when the Biden administration came into office, the previous administration who had created a humanitarian crisis that our country's reputation will be stained with for generations, had not even created a meaningful way to handle the mess they created. She cited the work being done to end child separation, and the improving numbers in the right direction. She ended by explaining why this is a non-starter of a question: It isn't a story about anything other than GOP talking points.& "We are less worried about press conferences or political games that are being played by some." Psaki has done an excellent job of sticking to the facts and telling the truths of this administration. Whether or not you agree with the Biden administration's moves or positions, Psaki has been able to convincingly and relatively easily handle& any and all questions the press has had for her regarding Joe BIden and Kamala Harris'& moves and statements. Part of this is the fact that the Biden administration has been very popular and progressive in working diligently to undo the cataclysmic failures of the previous administration, and part of this is because when not serving up softball-sized meatball questions to an ultra-right-wing clown car circus, the conservative media is really at a loss. YouTube Video
Author : Walter Einenkel
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