White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has turned the heads of a watchdog organization over comments she made about Fox News. The organization is not officially affiliated with the US Government, but it’s worth hearing out the complaint.
What Did She Say?
In a much-ballyhooed edition of Pod Save America, Psaki was asked if Fox News anchor Peter Doocy is a “stupid son of a bitch or just plays one on TV.” This came after President Biden was caught on a hot mic calling Doocy the very same. Psaki chose her words carefully, but not quite carefully enough.
“He works for a network that provides people with questions that, nothing personal to any individual including Peter Doocy, but might make anyone sound like a stupid son of a bitch” Psaki responded. It seems like she didn’t want to openly antagonize Doocy specifically, but the pivot to criticize Fox News was unsurprisingly controversial.
Protect People’s Trust
Should the sitting White House Secretary openly criticize a major network? Probably not, but in her defense, she was answering a relevant question and was just using the verbiage at hand. A watchdog group focused on misconduct, Protect the Public’s Trust, is now targeting Psaki over her comments.
PPT prides itself on being a political watchdog to root out ethical violations. It’s recommending a formal investigation of Psaki because it believes she will soon be employed by MSNBC. It considers a conflict of interest for a sitting press secretary to work for a news network. Bashing Fox News while in office is a way for her to give her future employer an edge.
One may wonder what this organization even is. Its website reads, “The American people deserve a government that is impartial, free from conflicts of interest and operates without political interference or favoritism. Our goal is to ensure our nation fulfills that promise.”
It’s worth noting the director, Michael Chamberlain, was recently sharing Breitbart and Fox News articles on his Twitter, which are typically right-leaning organizations. He just shared this piece about how college students don’t want to be challenged by conservative speakers.
Psaki is not without complaints. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington also alleged Psaki acted unethically. It believed she endorsed a political candidate during a press briefing, which it believes is transparently partisan. This organization also criticized Donald Trump’s press secretary Kellyanne Conway for the same behavior. Psaki has a hard job, and eyes are undeniably tracking her now.
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