Just two weeks into the job, White House press secretary Jen Psaki is becoming a social media star of sorts, and may already be irritating more than the ‘right-wing’ press.
Doing what “Saturday Night Live” once did before it went utterly anti-Trump and super woke, conservatives on Twitter have ridiculed Psaki and her repeated pledges to “circle back” with answers to White House reporters’ questions.
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) January 26, 2021
Even the media has now picked up on it.
This “circle back” thing has extended to the liberal press corps as a point of mocking conservatives and defending their bestie Jen Psaki.
Here was NBC’s Geoff Bennett invoking “circle back” and playfully asking if he can use the term himself. pic.twitter.com/xjvbKCpCAo
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) February 1, 2021
Psaki got a little snarky over the critiques.
“I often note I’m going to circle back,” Psaki said during Monday’s briefing. “I hate to disappoint conservative Twitter, but I’m going to circle back on a number of things, as we often do directly.”
But while all that circling may make some of us dizzy, the Daily Beast has a new report out that helps explain how the White House intends to help its clueless press secretary.
The Beast reported on Monday:
“If you’re a reporter with a tough question for the White House press secretary, Joe Biden’s staff wouldn’t mind knowing about it in advance.
According to three sources with knowledge of the matter, as well as written communications reviewed by The Daily Beast, the new president’s communications staff have already on occasion probed reporters to see what questions they plan on asking new White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki when called upon during briefings.”
But it appears the White House press corps, now apparently realizing how in the tank for President Joe Biden they look, are suddenly “sensitive to the perception that they are coordinating with political communications staffers,” the Beast noted
Sources who participated in an off-the-record Zoom call by the White House Correspondents Association last week were told to push back or ignore petitions for advance questions.
“While it’s a relief to see briefings return, particularly with a commitment to factual information, the press can’t really do its job in the briefing room if the White House is picking and choosing the questions they want,” one White House correspondent said. “That’s not really a free press at all.”
“It pissed off enough reporters for people to flag it for the [WHCA] for them to deal with it,” another source told the Beast.
Well, of course, you can look smart if you have the questions before you take the test.
But on Monday, Psaki signaled that another time-honored White House beat will no longer be tolerated.
A reporter on Monday asked a perfectly obvious question about Biden meeting with GOP senators on COVID stimulus relief before doing so with Democrats. Some Democrats were grumbling, he suggested.
Psaki dismissed the question as “people talking about it in hallways.” Some Twitter users picked up on the fact that anonymous sources are a no-no in posing questions to Biden.
It’s cool to attack anonymous sources now, guys. https://t.co/6GW5YiTFxc
— Caleb Hull (I’m With the CCP Don’t Ban Me) (@CalebJHull) February 1, 2021
Now let’s pump the brakes here — since when did the use of unnaamed sources stop being tolerated?
Ah, yes – 12 days ago… https://t.co/8RfROdfuzz
— Brad Slager – In An Augur Roll (@MartiniShark) February 1, 2021
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