The Washington Post published an “analysis” Saturday that appears to criticize Fox News’ White House correspondent Peter Doocy for asking the Biden administration tough questions — or at least, that’s how a number of users on social media took it.
The piece by writer Philip Bump, who frequently espouses a left-of-center viewpoint, was tweeted out by CNN media analyst Brian Stelter along with a quote from the article that implied Doocy, in doing his job, was a problem.
“[White House press secretary Jen] Psaki and [President Joe] Biden are confident in their ability to handle Doocy’s questions and eager to reframe them. It’s a bit like doing an interview with a local television station in rural Texas: You’re pretty much guaranteed airtime that you wouldn’t otherwise get,” says the quote.
"Psaki and Biden are confident in their ability to handle Doocy's questions and eager to reframe them. It’s a bit like doing an interview with a local television station in rural Texas: You're pretty much guaranteed airtime that you wouldn't otherwise get" https://t.co/JAOb89BMau
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) August 28, 2021
Other sites posted snippets of the piece as well:
What’s different now are the stakes. Fox News is powerful, capturing an audience of hundreds of thousands of people a night. It shifted during the Trump administration in part out of an effort to retain the attention of Trump’s more fervent supporters. In 2013, Fox News’s prime-time lineup flowed from Greta Van Susteren to Bill O’Reilly to Megyn Kelly to what was then its populist anchor, Hannity. Now, the channel is hosting a rotating slot of right-wing personalities in the 7 p.m. hour, before handing things over to Tucker Carlson, Hannity and Laura Ingraham. If those names aren’t intimately familiar to you, trust me when I say it’s a significant move away from the center.
In fact, Fox News’ primetime hosts regularly draw millions of viewers — far more than “hundreds of thousands” — the latter number of which can be attributed to hosts on other networks to include Stelter at CNN, whose ratings have been nosediving for months.
Social media users reacted to Bump’s analysis mostly by questioning why Doocy’s being targeted simply for doing what he’s paid to do, ask tough questions and hold the powerful to account.
Miranda Divine, an author and columnist for the New York Post, took Bump to task for the manner in which she characterized Biden’s “responses” to a Doocy question.
“In which the WaPo tries a hit job on @pdoocy and claims the president’s responses to his latest question was masterful and mentally acute,” she wrote on Twitter, adding an LOL emoji.
“Um….okay. You mean he’s the only one to ask tough questions,” one social media user responded.
“A journalist that asks his own questions instead of the preapproved ones. Watch Peter because you might learn something Brian,” said another user.
“Those problematic journalists who ask uncomfortable questions. Great to see Biden & Psaki focusing on this critical issue,” another replied. “It’s not like there are any other big matters on their plate.”
“He’s the only one asking somewhat challenging questions,” read another post. “Our President is taking questions from a pre determined list of reporters, how sad is that. There is a reason why your ratings are in the trash, how about mixing up your game plan.”
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