Thursday, July 29, 2021

Today in Washington coverage

You guys! Did you know that the Fair 'n' Balanced Network has an actual Peter Doocy beat? Here's the lead story (above) from Thursday evening:

President Biden grew heated Thursday while defending his administration's flip-flop on whether vaccinated Americans need to wear masks.

Fox News' Peter Doocy pressed Biden about his administration's reversal, pointing to the president's statement in May that, "If you are fully vaccinated, you no longer need to wear a mask."

Now, sure, this could be just another Shouty Biden story, or it could be just another anecdote illustrating why Fox News shouldn't have been drawing Messerschmitts in its textbook in fifth grade science class. But there's a more persistent pattern here:

July 27, 2nd paragraph:
Press secretary Jen Psaki responded to a question from Fox News' Peter Doocy by saying that masks are an "extra step" that provides further protection against COVID-19, while maintaining that vaccines against COVID-19 "work." 

July 26, 2nd paragraph:
During her daily press briefing, Psaki was asked by Fox News’ Peter Doocy whether Biden’s "comprehensive strategy" to combat gun crime, first announced June 23, was effective in cities like Chicago, where 73 people were shot over the weekend, 11 of them fatally.

July 22, 6th paragraph:
During her daily press briefing Thursday, Psaki was pressed by Fox News' Peter Doocy on whether the administration planned to "follow up with school districts to make sure that the Abolitionist Teaching Network material is not in lesson plans."

July 20, 2nd paragraph:
Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy on Tuesday asked White House press secretary Jen Psaki if the event was considered a "super-spreader," saying that "more than 10%" of the traveling Texas Democrats have tested positive.

July 19, 2nd paragraph:
Fox News’ Peter Doocy questioned Psaki during the administration’s daily press briefing, asking about "vaccine hesitancy" and if President Biden would reach out to Trump to "cut a PSA" telling people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

July 16, 8th paragraph:
While questioning Psaki on Friday, Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy noted the checkered history of Big Tech deciding what was and wasn't misinformation, such as Facebook infamously flagging posts that hypothesized the coronavirus leaked from a Wuhan lab.

July 4, 3rd paragraph:
Jacobs’ tweet was a reaction to a White House exchange between Psaki and Fox News’ Peter Doocy, in which Doocy questioned Psaki on whether the White House was concerned about recent reports of an "abusive environment" inside the office of Vice President Kamala Harris.

July 2, lede:
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki pushed back on Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy's question about a pun-filled tweet from 1600 Pennsylvania Av celebrating a reported 16-cent drop in the cost of an Independence Day barbecue.

July 1, 2nd paragraph:
"Well, the president did mention that the American Rescue Plan, the state and local funding, something that was supported by the president, a lot of Democrats who supported and voted for the bill, could help ensure local cops were kept on the beat in communities across the country. As you know, [it] didn't receive a single Republican vote. That funding has been used to keep cops on the beat," Psaki said in response to a question from Fox News' Peter Doocy on Tuesday.

June 28, paragraph 3:
"Something one of the advisers said this weekend, Cedric Richmond, he said Republicans defunded the police by not supporting the American Rescue Plan," Fox News' Peter Doocy asked Psaki on Monday. "But how is it that that is an argument to be made when the president never mentioned needing money for police to stop a crime wave when he was selling the American Rescue Plan?"

Bonus June 28, also paragraph 3:
"This weekend, Gwen Barry, who hopes to represent the United States as an Olympian on the hammer throwing events, won a bronze medal at the trials, and then she turned her back on the flag while the anthem played," Fox News' Peter Doocy said to Psaki during the daily White House briefing. "Does President Biden think that is appropriate behavior for someone who hopes to represent Team USA?"

June 22, paragraph 4:
Asked by Fox News’ Peter Doocy if Biden still thinks now is the right time to end the cash bail system, Psaki said: "I don’t think I have any new position on that for you but I’m happy to check."

One could go on -- back to the glorious days of March 26, for example:
Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy confronted press secretary Jen Psaki on Friday about why he was snubbed during President Biden’s first press conference, noting Fox has "never been" on the list of Biden's pre-approved reporters.

But you can actually play this game yourself at home! Meanwhile, enjoy the Chicago Tribune's coverage of that glorious day in December 1942 when FDR brought an Iron Cross to a press conference as a present for John O'Donnell of the isolationist (ahem, "prewar anti-interventionist") New York Daily News. The record's not entirely clear on why. Most accounts from the time point to an allegedly satirical column O'Donnell had written, though in 1947, O'Donnell suggested that FDR had made the play to influence the jury pool in O'Donnell's upcoming libel suit against the Philadelphia Record, which had called him a Naziphile,* out of revenge for O'Donnell's April 1941 story contending that Roosevelt was violating the Neutrality Act.

I haven't seen any suggestions besides the Trib's that other correspondents were "incensed," though it's entirely possible. But if you're wondering whether elbows have been thrown harder in the briefing room before, the answer is yes.

* That's Daily News style; in the World's Greatest Newspaper, it's "naziphile"


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