Topic: Media Research Center
In sharp contrast to the obsequious and embarrassing fawning and gushing he did over Trump's final White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, Curtis Houck and the rest of the Media Research Center have had their knives out for Biden press secretary Jen Psaki literally from the first day she started on Jan. 20.
That day, Nicholas Fondacaro whined: "As the liberal media were eagerly awaiting the first White House press briefing, chief Washington correspondent Andrea Mitchell spun a false tale about Press Secretary Jen Psaki’s “great reputation” at the State Department. Of course, what they weren’t telling viewers was that her press shop manipulated an official briefing video of Fox News catching them in a lie about the Iran nuclear deal" when she was woking for the State Department in 2016. Fondacaro did not mention the numerous lies McEnany was caught in during her tenure.
Houck served up a harsh review of Psaki's very first briefing that day and the media covering it:
On Wednesday night, the White House press corps made their embarrassing debut before White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, going from raging hyenas under Kayleigh McEnany to snoozing lapdogs for Psaki with a combination of boring, straightforward, and unserious questions with only a select few probing queries.
This was in stark contrast to the first briefings from Trump White House Press Secretaries Sean Spicer, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and Kayleigh McEnany (with Stephanie Grisham never having held an in-person briefing during her tenure).
Houck didn't admit that his assessment was in stark contrast to his own lapdog-esque behavior over McEnany's allegedly sick burns and unveiled contempt of the media she was supposed to be briefing. He then touted biased right-wing reporters who asked biased questions of Psaki:
It was following this walk-in-the-park that Fox News’s Peter Doocy got his chance and asked two of the three toughest questions of the nearly 30 Psaki faced[.]
The other tough question came from EWTN’s Owen Jensen as he grilled Psaki about what this new administration’s abortion policies will look like:
Between Doocy and Jensen, note how all three questions were tough, but free of condemnations, juvenile comebacks, and snark. Amazing how so many were unable to do that for four years.
Houck seems genuinely amazed that reporters can ask questions "free of condemnations, juvenile comebacks, and snark" when the press secretary is also free of them.
Houck then took it upon himself to do "reviews" of Psaki's press briefings. His review of Psaki's Jan. 21 briefing shows that he has found a new person to fanboy over in Doocy:
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki returned for a second briefing late Thursday afternoon and, after Dr. Tony Fauci and the press corps had a friendly, laugh-filled chat about the evils of the Trump administration, she took her turn for yet another relatively pressure-free briefing.
However, Psaki faced a few exceptions, led by the Fox Business Network’s Blake Burman on the Keystone XL pipeline, the Fox News Channel’s Peter Doocy on Amazon and President Biden not wearing a mask at the Lincoln Memorial, and the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Debra Saunders on religious liberty.
And with the others so pedestrian, we found it worth highlighting those that were actually doing their jobs.
Doocy had two back-and-forths and the first pertained to Biden’s blatant disregard Wednesday night for an executive order he had signed hours earlier mandating mask use on federal land (which would include National Parks).
Of course, Houck demanded "pedestrian" questions from themedia under McEnany and attacked the reporters who asked the kind of questions that he now portrays as them "doing their jobs."
For the Jan. 22 briefing, Houck complained: "Despite the fact that Donald Trump is no longer the President and the liberal media now have their friends returned to the White House, the White House press corps couldn’t shake their Trump addiction. On Friday alone, Trump and his administration were pertinent to roughly 16 out of the 45 questions to Press Secretary Jen Psaki (including 15 of the first 23), according to a NewsBusters count." Houck seems to have forgotten that Trump had very recently been impeached after inciting an insurrection on the Capitol, making it very much a valid subject for questioning.
He concluded by further complaining: "So in the first three Biden White House briefings, we’ve had roasts of the Trump administration (alongside Dr. Tony Fauci), softballs, and now a Trump obsession. It’s quite the opposite of the Trump briefings, which came off like Swamp versions of UFC matches." But Houck will never admit the role that McEnany and the other Trump press secretaries played in creating that atmosphere.