After the motley crew of fact-adverse press secretaries who held court during the Trump administration — or didn’t do so in the case of Stephanie Grisham, who never actually ever held a press briefing — the arrival of Jen Psaki to handle that role for the Biden administration was a breath of fresh air.
Psaki’s ability to present actual facts as she navigated the questions lobbed her way by White House correspondents of various political affiliations has been masterful since she took the podium in the presidential press briefing room earlier this year.
Her seemingly daily verbal sparring over “gotcha” questions posed by Fox News‘ chief White House correspondent Peter Doocy has become such a newsworthy event in its own right, that their exchanges have become expected items in one’s daily social media feeds.
It is in this context that one of Fox News‘ most respected actual journalists (as opposed to the fear-mongering, political opinion-dispensing, talking heads who dominate the cable news network’s prime-time hours), Chris Wallace expressed his appreciation both for his colleague Peter Doocy’s persistent application of pressurized inquisition techniques and for Jen Psaki’s skillfully devastating retorts to his leading questions.
Doocy and Psaki had just finished an extended back and forth over the issue of President Biden’s failure to visit the United State’s southern border since his inauguration.
Psaki naturally defended Biden, stating that he has visited the border area many times in his career and that there was little value in staging what would essentially be “a photo op” simply to placate restless Trump supporters.
While a neutral observer may have likely declared Psaki the winner in that exchange, the panel at Fox News who were asked to comment on the interaction after the network broadcast it live were more equanimous.
Fox News host Sandra Smith weighed in first, defending the network’s reporter.
“Obviously he was pressing her on the president’s own words,” Smith said of Doocy.
Wallace was impressed by both Doocy and Biden’s press secretary.
“Honestly, as somebody who’s spent six years in the White House, my immediate reaction was those are two people at the top of their game,” Wallace said, referring to his own time as a White House correspondent for NBC News in the 1970s and ’80s.
“I mean this as a compliment. I think he has become the Sam Donaldson of this White House press corps,” comparing Doocy’s performance to that of ABC News’ legendarily tough presidential inquisitor of the Reagan era.
“And since I was working in the press corps when Sam Donaldson was there, that’s a very grudging compliment on my part,” Wallace archly noted.
It was Wallace’s compliment towards Jen Psaki, however, that generated the most heat from right-wing trolls on social media.
Wallace called Psaki “one of the best press secretaries ever,” before adding “I don’t know that anything was particularly accomplished, but they both gave and got pretty good.”
From the reaction to Wallace’s praise of Psaki on Twitter, one would think his behavior was akin to giving a standing ovation to a member of the opposing team when they hit a grand slam to drive in 4 runs and clinch the World Series in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Chris Wallace continues to suck the dem tit pic.twitter.com/Nf7F2eY92i
— The Hulkster (@BruceSoonerdude) October 23, 2021
— Sebastian Gorka DrG (@SebGorka) October 23, 2021
It takes a big man to admit that a person that has opposing viewpoints relative to their own is doing a good job. You Danny, are not that man.
— 🇺🇸𝓣𝓸𝓷𝔂 𝓥𝓮𝓷𝓽𝓾𝓻𝓪🇺🇸💎 (@realTonyVentura) October 23, 2021
I'm afraid my fluency in right-wing Newspeak is dropping. Because they're all in a tizzy about Chris Wallace complementing Jen Psaki as WH press secretary and using the hashtag Mumsie Culpepper as what appears to be an insult. A reference I fail to understand.
— Michael Joneas 🏳️🌈 (@JoneasMichael) October 23, 2021
— Julia (@Jules31415) October 23, 2021
Marie Bartiromo should take over for never Trumper Chris Wallace
— Vince Langman (@LangmanVince) October 17, 2021
Chris Wallace is a direct result of inbreeding. https://t.co/PMgMuwJm6Z
— Mike Engleman🇺🇲 (@RealPatriot56) October 23, 2021
Yesterday, calling Alec Baldwin a killer triggered BlueAnon leftists into nuclear meltdowns.
Today, calling Chris Wallace an inbred with the hashtag #ChrisWallaceSucks is having the same effect. 😆
— Mike Engleman🇺🇲 (@RealPatriot56) October 23, 2021
Chris Wallace is right about Psaki being the best Press Secretary.
BUT you, Mr. Sean Spicer had the best SNL parody! pic.twitter.com/AGFgd1Ft1a
— 🌊😷—((( Freddy Atton )))—😷🌊 (@freddyatton) October 23, 2021
Sean Spicer wants you to know that his Chris Wallace tweet had "the largest audience to ever witness a tweet, period.” https://t.co/k6zKzhN61p
— John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) October 23, 2021
Of course, as the universal law of social media states, every political opinion will generate an equal and opposite reaction from others who think your opinion is total garbage.
When Chris Wallace is right, he’s right.
Psaki is the GOAT.
— Chris Hahn (@ChristopherHahn) October 23, 2021
Chris Wallace said “Jen Psaki is one of the best press secretaries ever” so he basically just pissed in MAGA coffee this morning. 🤣
— Mayo (@MayoIsSpicyy) October 23, 2021
Chris Wallace shocked Fox News viewers by calling Jen Psaki “the best Press Secretary ever”. Who agrees with him wholeheartedly? ✋🏼
— Andrea Junker (@Strandjunker) October 23, 2021
Good morning to everyone who knows Chris Wallace is right, that Jen Psaki is the best press secretary ever. How can you not love her?
— Amy Lynn👣❤ (@AmyAThatcher) October 23, 2021
Chris Wallace is trending because he said “Jen Psaki is one of the best press secretaries ever” and MAGA are butthurt. Kayleigh McLiar isn’t fit to be Jen’s coffee girl. Cry harder!
— 𝐁𝐞𝐤𝐬 (@antifaoperative) October 23, 2021
Chris Wallace is right. Jen Psaki IS one of the best press secretaries ever, and she has to be to make up for the last four years of utter incompetence at that position.
— Rex Zane (@rexzane1) October 23, 2021
📌Apparently, Chris Wallace just told the truth on Fox News about the great Jen Psaki and 14 million ardent viewers swallowed their tooth.
— D. Earl Stephens ✍️ (@EarlOfEnough) October 23, 2021
I agree with what Chris Wallace said this morning on Fox News.
Jen Psaki is the best White House Press Secretary EVER.
What do you all think? 🤔 @PressSec
— The Lincoln Watchman🇺🇸 (@LincolnWatchman) October 23, 2021
Chris Wallace called Jen Psaki one of the best press secretaries ever.
And he's 100% correct!
— Brian O'Sullivan (@osullivanauthor) October 23, 2021
Apparently, there is a strong correlation between one’s choice of political affiliation and one’s views on both Chris Wallace and Jen Psaki.
Those brainwashed viewers of Fox News’ opinion programming simply can’t abide by Chris Wallace’s equal treatment of people on both sides of the political aisle.
It simply shows that those who buy into harmful propaganda without the effort to thoughtfully analyze its truth will never be more than vicious ideologues who pollute our political system with selfish lies.
Thanks to Chris Wallace for his honesty in his appreciation of this talented spokeswoman for the Biden administration, Jenn Psaki.
Original reporting by Josh Feldman at Mediaite.
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Vinnie Longobardo is 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.