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Friday, August 6, 2021
MRC Psaki-Bashing, Doocy-Fluffing Watch, Full Man-Crush Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

Peter Doocy had the previous week off, so the Media Reserarch Center's Curtis Houck was not able to man-crush over him at Jen Psaki's White House press briefings. So with Doocy's return on July 12, Houck was ready to go into man-crush overdrive:

With Cubans having taken to the street over the weekend to protest the 62 years of communist rule that worsened during the coronavirus pandemic, AP and CNN White House reporters used Monday’s briefing to side with their friends in the Communist Party, and demand Press Secretary Jen Psaki blame former President Trump’s posture toward the island nation for its economic ruin.

Fortunately, Fox News’s Peter Doocy returned from a week off to call out the spin that the protests stemmed from coronavirus cases while the Daily Caller’s Shelby Talcott asked whether the administration agreed with The New York Times that the American flag — which Cubans waved as they marched — was “alienating the some.”


As for Doocy, he started with a back-and-forth about vaccine mandates (which left a flustered Psaki to sarcastically tell him, “welcome back”), but pivoted to Cuba and specifically the disconnect between Psaki claiming Cubans were upset with their government and the State Department blaming it on COVID cases.

Psaki tried to engage in damage control, but Doocy called out the insanity in claiming the Cubans protesting “freedom” and “enough” were demanding liberation from the coronavirus[.]

Of course, Houck was lying when he claimed reporteres were siding with "Communist Cuba," but the MRC is cool with any besmirching of the "liberal media," now matter how fanciful.

Houck's man-crushing continued on July 14:

Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy went toe-to-toe with Press Secretary Jen Psaki during Wednesday’s briefing, challenging her on the hypocrisy surrounding Texas Democrats fleeing the state over proposed voter integrity measures and the administration’s refusal to denounce the evils of communism that have ravaged the Cuban people for 62 years.

While Doocy actually did his job as a reporter to challenge those in power, others in the room pushed the White House not out of accountability, but from the left to help allies will policy proposals into existence.

Once again, Houck covered up the fact that Psaki actually owned Doocy, writing of a Doocy questionabout Democratic Texas lawmakers leaving the state to stall a Republican-pushed voting restriction bill that "Doocy called out Psaki’s humorous dismissal, noting Biden’s eye-popping assertion that voter integrity measures pose the greatest threat to American democracy 'since the Civil War.'"IN fact, as a more honest outlet pointed out, Psaki did not make a "humorous dismissal" of Doocy's question:

She went on to say the president believes these Democrats “were making a statement through action in opposition to efforts in their state to oppose restrictions on people’s fundamental rights and their rights to vote in their state.”

He “certainly applauds their actions and their outspoken opposition to efforts to put in place restrictive measures in their state,” Psaki added.

“And maybe it is funny to think about it that way, but the president is talking about this as the most serious assault on democracy…” Doocy started to say.

Psaki jumped in to remark, “I don’t think anything about this is funny.”

The next day, Houck cheered even more hostile questions from Doocy designed to push right-wing narratives:

Three days after first asking her if the administration would condemn communism and the far-left ideology’s gruesome affect on life inside Cuba, Fox News’s Peter Doocy finally got White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki to condemn on Thursday both communism and demand the regime grant “freedom” to the Cuban people.

And, on another matter, Doocy pressed Psaki on the Biden administration inviting the United Nations Human Rights Council (which included oppressive regimes such as China, Cuba, Pakistan, Russia, Somalia, and Venezuela) to examine the U.S. government and trash it as repulsive and systematically racist.

On July 16, Houck gushed that another right-wing reporter joined Doocy in attacking Psaki (while making sure not to point out they are right-wing reporters) under the overexcited headline "BOOM":

Friday’s White House press briefing grew tense as the Biden administration continued its collusion with Facebook and the rest of Big Tech to crack down on dissent (under the guise of fighting misinformation about coronavirus vaccines). 

As usual, Fox News’s Peter Doocy and Real Clear Politics’s Philip Wegmann were the rare voices to raise concerns as they inquired about whether it could be seen as “spying on people’s Facebook profiles,” how long this partnership has been going on, and if there are any safeguards to protect speech.

Doocy set Press Secretary Jen Psaki up by leading with a question about China’s lack of cooperation into the origins of the coronavirus, citing one Chinese conspiracy theory that the virus came from smuggled in “frozen food.”

After Psaki said the administration is “concerned...about misinformation” from China, Doocy used that as a springboard to the federal government’s work with social media platforms: “[S]peaking of misinformation and the announcement from yesterday, for how long has the administration been spying on people's Facebook profiles looking for vaccine misinformation?”

Psaki immediately became disgusted, telling Doocy he had offered up “quite a loaded and inaccurate question, which I would refute.”

Yes, Houck thinks that spreading lies and misinformation about vaccines is merely "dissent" and that calling it what it is -- misinformation -- is a political term, not a statement of fact (as is the current MRC narrative).

Houck then proceeded to further denigrate Psaki, claiming she engaging in "word salad" and "gaslighting," two things he had no problem with when his beloved Kayleigh McEnany was doing them. Apparently still missing her, he went on to name-check her: "Exit question: If this were still the Trump administration with Kayleigh McEnany at the podium saying these things, what would the chances have been that everyone from Yamiche Alcindor to Jim Acosta to Peter Alexander to Brian Karem to April Ryan would have blown a collective gasket?"

And what are the chances McEnany would also be serving up "word salad" and "gaslighting" in response, and Houck would say nothing?

UPDATE: Houck engaged in more Doocy stenography in his July 16 post, touting that "Doocy pushed back on Psaki’s claim that the posts are 'publicly open information' and thus fair game, asking whether the 12 people the administration believes hold the lion’s share of blame for misinformation have been told that the government is surveying them." The Washington Post's Aaron Blake pointed out that Doocy was wrong to portray the government as spying on these people. In May, the Center for Countering Digital Hate issued a list of 12 people it found to be responsible for a majority of disinformation about vaccines, which were all taken from publicly available posts. Blake continued:

Nor did anything in Psaki’s comments Thursday suggest that this was from some kind of government study or research project. But Doocy jumped from her stat to not just assuming that it was, but also that this amounted to “spying” and that the “spying” was specifically done by the surgeon general’s office (perhaps because Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy appeared with Psaki on Thursday?).

This continues a long-standing, often tortured search on Fox for government spying on their allies.


Doocy’s claim that the stat Psaki cited was proof of yet more supposed spying is just nonsensical, as he might have found had he done even the slightest bit of due diligence. But at least another spying conspiracy theory that can be turned into cable news segments has now been seeded.

Houck will never admit any of this, of course -- the man-crush must continue unencumbered by the facts.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:41 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, October 20, 2021 4:24 PM EDT

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