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Friday, May 27, 2022
MRC Psaki-Bashing, Doocy-Fluffing Watch, On-Message Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

A busy news cycle was not going to keep Curtis Houck from his Doocy-fluffing rounds, so he devoted an April 11 post to lavishing the praise he couldn't do earlier regarding briefings on April 7 and 8:

Given the busy news week, we wanted on Monday morning to recap the best and the worst from Thursday and Friday’s episodes of The Psaki Show and hone in on Fox’s Peter Doocy sparring with Press Secretary Jen Psaki over COVID cases around the President and Vice President and then free cellphones for illegal immigrants.

In contrast, other reporters came at Psaki from the left, expressing fear of the virus, regardless of how many shots one might have had.

Doocy began his Thursday questioning with this zinger about Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) positive COVID test following a White House event: “How can you guys say that President Biden was not a close contact with Speaker Pelosi when there is video of the Speaker kissing him?”

Psaki insisted the Center for Disease Control’s “definition of it is 15 minutes of contact within a set period of time within six feet” and they “did not meet that bar.” Thankfully Doocy pressed on the insanity of this and whether a rash of cases among key officials could be “a national security problem.”

Psaki noted the importance of boosters and the availability of working from home, so Doocy closed the circle with a question about Friday’s celebration of incoming Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson before moving on to immigration and what’s expected to be an explosion of people at the border.


Going to Friday, Doocy similarly began with a bang, sarcastically asking whether there’s “a carve-out in CDC regulations for COVID for the Vice President.”

Psaki invited him to “[t]ell me more” as “I’m sure this is going somewhere” even though she wasn’t entirely certain of what he had for her “on a Friday.”

Take note below of how Psaki had the gall to note Harris was emotional as she had important business to attend to, which led Doocy to question whether this was a case of “rules for thee but not for VP”[.]


On immigration, Doocy wanted to know whether free smartphones could be given “to U.S. citizens that way them” for free with “a free monthly plan” seeing as how they’re being doled out to illegal immigrants.

Psaki wasn’t having it, asking how instead should they be tracked and also inviting Doocy to provide “an alternative suggestion.” Doocy was a good sport, stating he “unfortunately, [has] not been asked to make...policy.”

Houck didn't have Doocy to fluff for the April 13 briefing, so he found a way to get off on Psaki being asked tough questions (something he never did regarding his beloved Kayleigh McEnany): "Hump Day marked a tough day for Jen Psaki as she reportedly careens toward the series finale of The Psaki Show as the White House press secretary faced tough questions on inflation and another off-the-cuff remark from President Biden about Russia’s unprovoked war against Ukraine, including one that questioned whether there needs to be 'an asterisk next to anything that the President says.'" He did give a shout-ouyt to the Fox News employees that were in the room, Jacqui Heinrich and Edward Lawrence.

The writeup was assigned to Kevin Tober for the April 18 briefing, but he knew how to follow Houck's Doocy-fluffing template:

Another day another wild episode of the final season of the Psaki Show. This time with a well-deserved grilling by Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy, and some rather bizarre questions from a couple of other reporters in the room. 


Next up, is the moment you’ve all been waiting for with Peter Doocy firing off a number of hard-hitting questions for Psaki: 

You said about this mask ruling out of a federal court in Florida that it’s a disappointing decision and you say you continue to recommend that people wear masks. Why is it that we can sit here in the White House briefing room with no masks, but people can't sit in an airplane cabin with no masks?

In response, Psaki sassed Doocy by claiming she’s “not a doctor” and neither is he: “You're not a doctor that I'm aware of.” 

Finally getting around to answering the question, the belligerent press secretary tried to explain how the mask decisions are made: “these determinations, remember the masking guidance is there are is green, yellow and red. We are currently in a green zone in Washington, D. C. So they're not recommending it.”

Doocy promptly asked without skipping a beat “then would the President support if a flight is leaving from an airport in a green zone, those people don't have to wear masks?” 

The next briefing writeup didn't happen until April 27, in which Houck referenced a briefing he oddly didn't write up and praised Fox's Heinrich for pushing the right-wing talking point du jour on Hunter Biden (which the MRC as a whole had also been dutifully pushing as if following orders, and Houck himself hyped in his briefing writeups the month before):

A day after PBS’s Lisa DeJardins asked White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki for comment on the latest Hunter Biden finding by the New York Post, Fox’s Jacqui Heinrich came into Tuesday’s briefing with a question that’ll be worth revisiting as the Biden probe in Delaware moves along as she wanted to know whether President Joe Biden still stands by his claims that he never discussed Hunter’s business dealings with him or with other people.

Heinrich wrapped her questions with one about Hunter in context of the Post’s story from this past weekend that said a Hunter Biden associate had visited the White House 19 times while Hunter’s father was Vice President:


Prior to her Hunter question, Heinrich brought up the CDC order Title 42 and its use at the southern border and whether it was true that the President’s “looking forward to lifting Title 42, describing it as an excuse to keep people out of the country and anti-immigrant.”

Psaki replied that while he “never felt that Title 42 was a — an effective immigration policy...the authority has always rested in the CDC to make that determination.”

And on a topic semi-related, Heinrich questioned whether the supposed drying up of government COVID-19 funding could soon result in a scenario with illegal immigrants receiving vaccinations and pandemic-related care free of charge while American citizens aren’t[.]

The next day, Houck served up more Heinrich love for staying on message over Hunter Biden:

For the second day in a row on Wednesday, Fox’s Jacqui Heinrich pressed lame duck White House press secretary Jen Psaki on both Hunter Biden’s life of corruption and the ongoing crisis at the border as the Biden administration continues to divert resources away from American citizens and toward illegal immigrants.

Heinrich sandwiched her Hunter Biden questions in between back-and-forth’s on Saturday’s White House Correspondents Dinner (WHCD) and Title 42, stating she “want[ed] to take another stab at a question I tried yesterday.”

“We’ve heard the President say over and over again that he has never spoken to his son about his business dealings.  Has he ever spoken to his son’s business partners about his son’s business dealings,” she asked.

Psaki made it as clear as day for the U.S. Attorney and grand jury in Delaware, saying “nothing has changed about what I said yesterday” in that President Biden “does not get involved in the business dealings of his son.”

Heinrich twice followed up to have Psaki repeat herself:

Houck didn't think Heinrich was a bad reporter for asking questions that elicited the same answers from Psaki -- she stayed on message with the right-wing agenda, and that's all that matters to him.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:00 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, June 13, 2022 12:54 AM EDT

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