Among the large scope of the new Joe Biden presidency is the wonder of the press briefings orchestrated by Jen Psaki, which in it’s straightway openess has allowed the nation to witness once again how democracy and the media functions together.
In Psaki, a press person with an intelligent sense of humor:
It's the plane of today" — Psaki dismisses a question about if Biden plans to keep the Space Force pic.twitter.com/cBrBj6hYUp
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 2, 2021
Psaki was asked Tuesday by Bloomberg White House reporter Josh Wingrove if Biden has made a decision about “keeping, or keeping the scope of, Space Force.” Psaki responded as though she’d been asked about the happy hour specials at the Trump International Hotel.
“Wow, Space Force. It’s the plane of today,” Psaki sarcastically said, referring to silly questions she fielded during her first press briefings about Biden’s thoughts on the color scheme of Air Force One.
“I am happy to check with our Space Force point of contact. I’m not sure who that is. I will find out and see if we have any update on that.”
Of course, the remark drew ire from the right field, but it was all a drama-queen whine. Psaki knows her shit. She’s been involved with national politics since 2004 and John Kerry’s campaign, and then traveling press secretary for Obama in 2008 — experience with a whiff of sarcasm.
She’s described as such in a lengthy piece this morning at The Daily Beast on Psaki and current White House press briefings — not only from Psaki, but other reporters covering the beat.
“That has certainly been my perspective throughout my career, and my goal was to return to accuracy and transparency from the podium,” Psaki — a former Obama White House official and State Department spokesperson — told The Daily Beast on Friday, elaborating on her own inaugural address.
“But also [to acknowledge that] there would be moments of disagreement, and that was part of democracy, right?”
The job of the White House press secretary — which encompasses being interrogated on live television on behalf of the president and the entire United States government on issues foreign and domestic, substantive and trivial — is by far the highest-profile role that the 42-year-old Psaki has played on the global stage.
Her every word, past and present, is now subject to intense scrutiny, as with her tweet last August mocking Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina as “Lady G,” a reference to the Washington-insider joke that the 65-year-old Graham is a closeted gay man (which he has steadfastly denied).
“I don’t believe anyone should be spreading conspiracy theories or attacking public servants, and that’s what that tweet was about,” Psaki said in her first public comments on the flap.
“I sent it six months ago, long before I was involved in the Biden White House [when she was an on-air commentator for CNN]. And I think anyone who’s known me for more than three minutes — which is not any of the people who are attacking me on Twitter — knows that I am a longtime, lifelong advocate — long before most people were — for LGBTQ rights in the community. But yes, it’s painful, and you try not to let some of this stuff bother you, but sometimes it does.”
“With Donald Trump, you always knew what was going on in the cortex of his brain, minute to minute, because he was tweeting it,” said Washington Post columnist Karen Tumulty.
“It is true that Biden himself is rarely seen except in kind of scripted settings. It’s not perhaps as transparent as it was, but it’s a lot more orderly.”
A veteran White House correspondent, who asked not to be further identified, said: “Jen Psaki is having daily briefings and she is actually letting people ask follow-up questions, and she’s not doing a little political speech at the end with a video on how awful the press is! There’s probably a natural human tendency to be, like, ‘Wow!’”
Go read the whole piece — kind of explains the mechanics of the current briefing-room situation, not only with Psaki’s performance, but how the T-Rump’s bunch were such-great incompetent assholes the norm is beyond mind-blowing.
CBS 60 Minutes correspondent John Dickerson: “The Biden team is just doing the expected things that they’re supposed to do, but because it’s such a departure from the previous administration, it seems like — actually it is — quite a hairpin turn.”
Psaki reminds me of CJ Cregg on “The West Wing” — therefore don’t try to play asshole games:
“Okay, maybe you can get the notes from a classmate…”
(Illustration: ‘Art Critic’ by Norman Rockwell, found here).