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The White House Press Corps is a microcosm of the national media. It’s overwhelmingly liberal, stuffed Joe Biden’s voice. So, it was totally bizarre when former press secretary Jen Psaki told the Los Angeles Times that she sometimes thought, “I’m an orderly in an insane asylum.”
The briefing room is usually a tank of hungry sharks for a Republican press secretary, and a classroom full of teacher pets for a Democratic press secretary. The news cycle would have to be so negative for journalists to sound hostile to Biden’s press aides.
On March 20, Black’s reporter, Simon Atiba, of an obscure website called Today News Africa, began shouting at the top of the briefing that current press secretary Karen Jean-Pierre wasn’t calling so he could ask his questions. Other journalists joined the fight, insisting that Atiba took his grievances off camera.
There should be decency in press meetings. White House Not a place for selfish rants by reporters, no matter the outlet. But some people believed they could secure fame and fortune by doing so.
Before him, CNN’s Jim Acosta routinely yelled at the former President Donald Trump, and was celebrated as heroic and gushed over by Stephen Colbert. Acosta constantly suggested that Trump would brutalize or kill journalists, and wrote a self-congratulatory memoir, “An Enemy of the People: A Dangerous Time for Truth-Speaking in America.”
In 2017, Ryan quarreled with Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, and then joined CNN as a political analyst. That year, she was also named “Journalist of the Year” by the National Association of Black Journalists. This will never happen with Atiba. She also wrote a self-promoted memoir, Under Fire: Coverage from the Front Lines in the Trump White House.
Brian Karem, who has written about Trump for Playboy, also got a CNN political analyst after yelling at me Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Therefore, it was remarkable hypocrisy for Karim to reprimand Atiba about how this “isn’t just about you” and to “concern about your morals”.
Then Associated Press reporter Zeke Miller felt the need to apologize to the American public for Atiba’s outbursts. Miller claimed, “We’re here to ask questions on their behalf, to hold their government accountable because they can’t all be here. And—this—this isn’t about us.”
Jean-Pierre appreciated the apology. But at least half of America has no confidence that AP reporters will ask them tough questions, or hold the president to account. Last year, the AP’s Josh Boak did a rare interview with Biden and he began by saying, “I’m really interested in how you think and how you make decisions during what feels like a truly unique time in American history.”
I was White House correspondent for World magazine for the first two years of George W. Bush’s presidency, a Christian weekly news paper. I wasn’t always called upon, but I never raised my voice, because it wouldn’t reflect well on my employer. I resisted the temptation to ask Press Secretary Ari Fleischer vulgar questions such as “Do you think Helen Thomas has become reckless?”
This White House has been very limited in granting access to President Biden, who prefers interviews with former Obama aide Cal Penn and actress Drew Barrymore. Karen Jean-Pierre is not in a place to lecture the American people like this She deserves a better press corps When their goal is for the boss to avoid it as much as possible.