With The Psaki Show out to pasture until it resurfaces on Peacock, White House press briefings continued on Tuesday with Psaki’s former deputy and former MoveOn.org and MSNBC activist, Karine Jean-Pierre.
Predictably, the liberal media showered their fellow progressive with syrupy platitudes and questions from the left demanding the federal government crusade against Fox News host Tucker Carlson and Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY) for supposedly causing the Buffalo shooting.
Jean-Pierre repeatedly insisted Tuesday wasn’t about her, but she repeatedly did just that. She capped her opening remarks by stating “about how honored I am to be here with all of you today in this role, in this room, standing behind this podium” as the first “a Black, gay, [and] immigrant woman…to hold this position” and that it wouldn’t have been without “barrier-breaking people before me.”
She added that “[r]epresentation does matter…and no one understands this better than President Biden, which is why his administration is not only the most diverse in history” and moved onto the job itself by insisting “this podium, this room…belong[s] to the American people.”
Before going to the AP’s Zeke Miller, Jean-Pierre insisted she’ll make “truth, honesty, and transparency” the center of her briefings even though she “might not see eye-to-eye…all the time” with reporters.
Speaking of reporters, Jean-Pierre thanked her comrades for “the work that you all do, which I know it’s not easy” in “play[ing] a vital role in our democracy, and we need a strong and independent press now more than ever.”
Miller led off with a variation of a snotty question that’s been asked of past secretaries as to whether they’d be truthful with reporters. But since the room is mostly on the same team, Miller softened it by asking it to define the role between a Biden spokeswoman and one for the American people (click “expand”):
MILLER: While you’ve been here before, it’s your first as Press Secretary, so on that — in that vein, I just want to ask you: Do you view your primary role here as speaking for the President and promoting his interests? Or are you — you know, or are you committed to providing the unvarnished truth to the American people so that they know what their government is doing on their behalf?
JEAN-PIERRE: I actually think that’s hand in hand. I don’t think there’s — that there is any separation to that. As I said at the end of my opening here, the President believes in truth and transparency. That’s what he expects from us. Clearly, we are here to talk about his platform and what he is doing to deliver for the American people. But he wants to make sure we’re doing this trans- — in a transparent way, in a truthful way, and an honest way.
Later in the briefing, The Grio’s April Ryan illustrated how total lack of journalistic bona fides by gushing to Jean-Pierre that she was “making history on so many levels” with “[s]o many communities” being “so proud of you, and we’re hearing it on social media everywhere.”
Ryan then asked “[w]hat does” she think it “mean[s] for the broader” Black community as too many areas of life are “white male-dominated still,” but now have someone making history (and “it’s not window dressing”).
Jean-Pierre thanked Ryan for the “very good question” before teeing off on herself while reemphasizing this isn’t about her (click “expand”):
It’s a very good question, April. I’m going to answer it in a — in a kind of a personal way, if that’s okay, since you asked it in a personal way. So, I have not read a lot of the things that have been written about me because I wanted to focus on the work at hand. And I do believe it’s not about me, it’s about this place. It’s about what — the work that I have to do every day, that we all have to do as a team to make sure that we communicate with you and communicate with the broader — the broader public. But there was something that moved me, and I think this speaks to — to what you’re asking, which is: There was a story about my elementary school. I went to Franklin Middle School — Elementary School in Hampstead, New York and they did a story, and they went to the class — I think I was in sixth grade when I went there; I went for one year — and they talked to the students about me and this moment — and this administration too, which is very important, because I don’t think I would be here — yes, I stand — I stood on so many shoulders, but it does matter who sits in the Oval Office as well. That is very, very real and these kids wrote me a letter and in the letter, they talked about how they can dream bigger because of me standing behind this podium and that matters. You know, as I started out at the beginning: Representation matters and not just for girls, but also for boys and so, what I hope is that young people get to dream big and dream bigger than they have before by seeing me stand here and answer all of your questions, you know, and have a healthy dialogue, as I discussed and so I think it is important, and so I appreciate the question. Thank you.
By and large, the questions weren’t any better. Back to the beginning, Miller invited Jean-Pierre to explain what does Biden “believe he has to do and the country has to do to combat that sort of hatred” espoused by the Buffalo shooter given how “motivated” Biden was to run for President after Charlottesville.
ABC’s Cecilia Vega went even further and asked the Biden administration to tee off on Carlson: “[D]oes the White House believe these views are being amplified by Tucker Carlson?”
When Jean-Pierre wouldn’t bite, Vega also asked about elected officials who need to be dealt with because they’re “threatening.”
AFP’s Sebastian Smith had his go at it later on, questioning whether Biden views the shooter as part of that “Ultra-MAGA” group of Americans with “‘extreme Republican’ politics.”
MSNBC host and Politico correspondent Jonathan Lemire returned to Carlson and, this time, he invoked Stefanik. When Jean-Pierre reverted back to her talking points to not name anyone, carnival barker Brian Karem interjected in disgust (click “expand”):
LEMIRE: I was hoping you could offer a little more of an explanation about something you said earlier, where you said that they were — did not want to call out by name individuals who had been espousing racist theories that could be fueling violence. I guess my question is: Why not, particularly if they’re individuals who have very large platforms and theoretically carry a lot of influence? This would be — people accused of doing so include the number three Republican in the House and the host of the number one cable news show on television. Why not call them out by name?
JEAN-PIERRE: I mean, look, what we saw on Saturday was devastating and horrific. You know, it is — what we want to do is making sure that we send a very clear message that hate must have no safe harbor and we must do everything in our power to end hate-fueled domestic terrorism and we must reject hatred and extreme — extreme ideologies that seek to divide Americans, wherever we find it in society; it is antithetical to who we are as a country and that is what we want to make sure that we’re doing. It doesn’t matter who it is. This — this is something, like, morally — like, mor- — the moral truth of this is that, you know, it is a racial-motivated hate crime, and it’s a — abhorrent. And so, that’s what we need to call out. It doesn’t — it doesn’t matter who that is and that’s what we’re trying to make clear here. We’re not — we’re not going to get into politics here about this. We want to make sure that we’re calling out what we’re seeing. These are people’s lives. At the top of this — of the briefing — I talked about 10 people — 10 people who are doing what many of us might be doing on a Saturday — is going shopping. You know, I know I go to the supermarket with my — with my seven-year-old very often. If it’s not on a Saturday, it’s on a Sunday, before the week starts, to get the needs — to get what we need for the week. I mean, this is what happened to everyday people, from 20 years old to 86 years old. That’s what we saw on Saturday and so, we need to call that out and do everything that we can to really deal with this issue and we know we have a lot of work to do.
KAREM: But you know it matters to some, right? It does matter to some people who it is that’s calling it out and when you don’t call the — when you don’t call out the individual, they feel as if you’re backing away from the issue.
JEAN-PIERRE: No, but we’re not.
KAREM: And that gets to the point —
JEAN-PIERRE: No, we’re not backing. How are we backing away from the issue?
KAREM: — well, because you won’t name who it is.
Prior to the softball about Jean-Pierre’s opening day, Ryan demanded to know “where’s the teeth” from the Biden White House to fight “this hate that has been plaguing this nation since the inception of this nation.”
To see the relevant transcript from May 16’s briefing (including Tuesday’s Doocy Time on inflation and why’s Biden visiting Buffalo, but skipped Waukesha), click here.