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Friday, October 29, 2021
MRC Psaki-Bashing, Doocy-Fluffing Watch, Pinch Hitter Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

Spewing hate pays off when you're a Media Research Center employee. Curtis Houck got promoted to a day shift in the wake of the retirement of the MRC's Rich Noyes. Between that and taking vacation the first week of October, his hateful tirades against White House press secretary Jen Psaki -- and his man-crushing over Fox News reporter Peter Doocy -- were largely MIA in the first couple weeks in October. So it was up to Tim Graham to fill in on the man-crushing front in writing up the Oct. 4 briefing:

In Monday's White House briefing, Fox reporter Peter Doocy prompted White House press secretary Jen Psaki to restate that the massive "progressive" spending package being debated costs "zero."

Doocy asked this: "You said the president's gonna have a virtual meeting with House Progressives to talk about how this 'Build Back Better' package is now gonna be smaller than $3.5 trillion. You had been saying that it cost zero, so are you now admitting that the plan does not cost zero or is it less than zero?"

"Let's not dumb this down for the American public here," Psaki replied.


It's too easy to mock this argument that if it's paid for, it costs zero. If I go get a haircut and pay for it, it It didn't cost me a dollar?

"Just to not dumb it down then," Doocy continued, "does the plan cost nothing, or is the plan free?"

Graham then found someone else to man-crush over: "Minutes later on Fox News Channel, former Bush strategist Karl Rove pulled out his whiteboard to mock Psaki and her defense of the Biden plan."

But Houck was back to Psaki-bash and Doocy-crush for the Oct. 8 briefing:

The Psaki Show went into the weekend on Friday with a bang as Fox’s Peter Doocy and a cadre of liberal White House reporters blasted away at Press Secretary Jen Psaki with questions over the disappointing September jobs report and continued concerns over gas prices, inflation, job openings, and even shipping lanes affecting the supply chain.

Of course, there were still a few eye rollers with questions about the U.S. axing Columbus Day and even a surprise with none other than Brian Karem interjecting to question President Biden’s health.

But first, Doocy time.

Houck continued to fluff Doocy some more:

The Fox reporter’s final exchange was most interesting as he honed in on Biden having claimed on Thursday that he, in Doocy’s retelling, “cold-called a Pennsylvania hospital to ask the desk-receiving nurse why it was taking so long for a good friend's wife to be seen.”

Psaki insisted there was nothing untoward since Biden told the story to highlight the pressure medical workers are feeling with Covid cases and especially among the unvaccinated.

Doocy kept pushing: “But setting aside the privacy of the individual, how often does President Biden call around trying to help his friends cut the line?”

Psaki counted with “that was certainly not his intention” and rather him being concerned about “a friend.”

Her condescending side came out as Doocy closed by wanting to know whether staffing issues at the hospital stemmed from a vaccine mandate: “I would love for you to account for me where that is the issue over — more so than number of unvaccinated who are filling emergency rooms, filling ICU beds. That is the problem in hospitals across the country.”

Of course Houck thinks Psaki is being "condescencing" to Doocy -- he's incapabnle of admitting that Psaki might be right and Doocy's being the jerk.Meanwhile, a more honest, less scyophantic reporter noted that the White house had just released a report "showing the effectiveness of vaccine requirements, which also showed very few people refusing to comply."

Doocy wan't in the house for the Oct. 12 briefing, but Houck found some other right-wing reporters to suck up to:

Tuesday saw a return of The Psaki Show and, without Fox’s Peter Doocy< and questions from Real Clear Politics’s Philip Wegmann<, someone had to bring the heat to Press Secretary Jen Psaki and that came thanks to the New York Post’s Steven Nelson, who brought questions about the ever-corrupt Hunter Biden and allegations that President Biden owes back taxes.

Nelson began by bringing up one of the Post’s latest pieces of excellent reporting which“said on Friday that the First Son had sold five prints of his artworks for $75,000 each and that a team of lawyers is reviewing the prospective buyers who are going to be allowed into an upcoming New York show.”

Houck is fluffing other reporters while his man-crush is away! What would happen if Doocy found out about this?

Houck went on to gush that Nelson asked "an extremely long question about the President and back taxes," but buried Psaki's response that the story is "debunked" and that Biden has released "many years of his tax returns so people can check them out" in a collapsed transcript excerpt that fewer people will read. That's how Houck does it when he knows Psaki is right but is afraid to admit it.

He picked a different reporter to fawn over for pushing partisan talking points during the Oct. 14 briefing:

With Thursday’s White House press briefing continuing to focus on the supply chain crisis amid rapid gains in inflation triggering price increases on basic necessities affecting all Americans, Fox’s Jacqui Heinrich blasted Press Secretary Jen Psaki over Chief of Staff Ron Klain’s “tone deaf” tweets from Wednesday agreeing with a statement that such problems are “high class issues.”

Heinrich began the first of two Klain questions by noting that Klain tweeted over “a message yesterday, not once but twice, that inflation and supply chain issues are ‘high class issues’” despite the fact that “some of the sharpest price increases...included products that every American buys: beef products, chicken, eggs, regular, unleaded gasoline, laundry equipment, furniture, clothing, the list goes on.”

“Why would Ron Klain tweet that and would you agree that’s a little bit tone deaf,” Heinrich added.

Psaki made clear that she was going to go the condescending route: “Do you think two tweets means more? Just curious. So, just for context, what — what Ron Klain retweeted was a tweet from the former Chairman of Economic Advisers, Jason Furman[.]”

She continued to defend Klain by informing Heinrich she instead needed to report the “full context which, I think, is important” in that things would be “much worse” “if the unemployment rate was still 10 percent”

After Psaki argued things were more expensive because the economy was such in great shape, Heinrich hit back and wondered if there were any plans for Klain to cut back on his Twitter use[.]

Houck and his MRC used to hate it when White House reporters obsessed over tweets during Trump's presidency. Wonder what changed...

Posted by Terry K. at 7:19 PM EDT

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