The ongoing verbal skirmishes between Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy and President Biden’s Press Secretary Jen Psaki generated two notable incidents in today’s battle report.
Doocy’s daily attempts to lob “gotcha” questions to the unperturbable and invariably always-prepared Psaki has become a highly anticipated near-daily feature of White House press briefings in recent months — with results as predictable as Lucy’s snatching the football away from Charlie Brown right before he tries to kick it.
Today, the Fox News journalist seemed certain that his question — about whether President Biden has ever, in the course of his entire lifetime, visited the southern border of the United States, would be the one where he finally could jump up and scream “Gotcha!” at the top of his lungs.
He had done the research and could find no trace or mention of any such trip.
As usual, Psaki made mincemeat out of his query, vowing to get back to the curious reporter with the details of Biden’s travel history, but quickly probing Doocy as to the reasons behind his question.
Doocy reminded Psaki that Biden has personally visited the sites of disasters like hurricanes and fires to witness first-hand the devastation being wrought, so why doesn’t the president “go down to Del Rio Texas to see what’s going on,” he asked.
Psaki quickly parried by pointing out that the current situation at the border is the result of a broken system that Congress has the responsibility to fix, before adding that Biden uses all of his past experience to address “how he governs, how he approaches challenges” and noting that the example of children being ripped from their parents by the previous administration is decidedly not how he wants to proceed.
Quite the gotcha from Peter Doocy to Jen Psaki here pic.twitter.com/FJ0eT9J2eD
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 22, 2021
While Psaki could have easily declined to call again on her Fox News antagonist, she gave Doocy another shot at besting her in the ongoing battle of wits.
This time Doocy tried to reconcile the Biden administration’s use of the Trump-era Title 42 program allowing the expulsion of immigrants exposed to COVID as a public health measure with their stated condemnation of Trump’s immigration policies.
This seeming accusation of hypocrisy — a practice one would think is baked into Fox News and the Republican Party’s worldviews — was deftly parried by the press secretary.
“Title 42 is not an immigration policy, it is a health authority because we’re in the middle of a pandemic,” she corrected Doocy.
“The Trump administration approach to immigration was inhumane and was immoral. That’s why we need to put a new policy in place and we need congress to pass that policy,” Psaki reminded the persistently dim journalist.
Not to be deterred, Doocy followed up his initial question by accusing the current administration of not even trying to pass an immigration reform bill despite Biden’s “many months in office” and Democratic control of both houses of Congress.
By this point, Psaki appeared to be losing patience with her interrogator.
“That’s not actually true… Peter, just factual here. There’s been a bill proposed, first day in office,” she began before explaining that the bill’s inclusion in the reconciliation package and subsequent rejection by the senate parliamentarian meant that Democrats were looking at new option to achieve Biden’s goal of a “more humane” immigration process.
Still, some would argue that Doocy has a point, given the fact that the Biden administration has been fighting to defend its use of Title 42 in court.
You can watch this second exchange between Fox News’ Peter Doocy and White House press secretary Jen Psaki in the video clip below.
Psaki to Doocy: That’s not actually true pic.twitter.com/2jjyL54NAr
— Acyn (@Acyn) September 22, 2021
Another day, another right-wing propagandist metaphorically slain. It’s all in a day’s work for the fearless and formidable White House press secretary.
Expect to soon see another round in this daily battle of the wits, which is as inevitable as Lucy’s intention to yank that football away from Charlie Brown’s approaching toes.
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Vinnie Longobardo is the Managing Editor of Occupy Democrats. He's a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.