‘Would make the editors of Pravda blush’: Brian Stelter’s gushing Psaki farewell sets off social media

In a highly opinionated and, at times, almost wistful homage to outgoing White House press secretary Jen Psaki’s tenure, CNN’s Brian Stelter bid a fond farewell to the future MSNBC contributor in a manner “that would make the editors of Pravda blush.”

As Psaki made way Friday for her successor, Karine Jean-Pierre, Stelter released an “analysis” of her 224 press briefings and myriad news appearances loaded with gushing quotes from his favored and “reliable” sources. In so doing, the CNN host couldn’t help but take potshots at the previous administration, Fox News, and pretty much anyone who failed to subscribe to his worldview.

“Conservatives (some of whom watched Psaki’s briefings live on Fox) criticized Psaki for dodging questions. Liberals celebrated her for neutralizing loaded questions (including some asked by Fox) and defending Biden’s agenda,” Stelter wrote in his post that prohibits replies from unapproved commenters.

“In about 16 months working on behalf of President Joe Biden, Psaki held a greater number of briefings than all of President Donald Trump’s press secretaries combined,” he attempted to offer as some massive accomplishment. What he negated to include was the unparalleled accessibility that Trump himself had given the media as opposed to Biden’s mostly cloistered presidency.

Stelter even conceded that point contradicting his own “analysis” offering, “White House reporters appreciated her accessibility, though it didn’t make up for Biden’s relative lack of press conferences and interviews.”

He also took shots at Trump’s varied press secretaries: Sean Spicer, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Stephanie Grisham and Kayleigh McEnany for, “doing what [Trump] wanted,” citing Poynter’s Tom Jones who said they “seemed more interested in picking fights and criticizing the media than effectively communicating the administration’s policies and agenda.”

Whereas Psaki, as far as Stelter is concerned, “was doing what Biden wanted – restoring a pre-Trump sense of normal.”

Stelter had nothing to add of her profitable move to “TV land, specifically MSNBC” other than that it was happening. In contrast, he had heavily criticized Spicer for going to “Dancing with the Stars” writing, “How should ex-White House officials be treated when they spend months misleading the American people, then seek positions of fame and privilege?”

Of course, Stelter is oblivious to any criticism of CNN and, in addition to his unwillingness to accept the failure of streaming service CNN+, has repeatedly pushed back against the slightest evidence that his network is guilty of biased reporting.

However, the glowing review of Psaki should come as surprise to nobody considering the interview he conducted with her in June 2021 when he asked, “What does the press get wrong when covering Biden’s agenda? When you watch the news, when you read the news, what do you think we get wrong?”

And, as one social media user pointed out, “Nauseating stuff that would make the editors of Pravda blush.”

His coverage of Jean-Pierre will likely be much the same as he closed his article quoting Psaki who said the new press secretary will bring, “her own magic, her own brilliance, her style to this briefing room.”


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Kevin Haggerty


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