Topic: Media Research Center
It was a light month for Karine Jean-Pierre-bashing in August because there were fewer White House press briefings due to President Biden being on vacation. That didn't stop KJP from living rent-free in the collective heads of the MRC, of course. Tim Graham spent an Aug. 17 post whining that Snopes pointed out that a claim attributed to Jean-Pierre was coming from a satire website; Graham conceded that Snopes was correct but whined about purported "selection bias" anyway:
The "independent fact-checkers" have a knee-jerk pattern of rushing to the defense of Team Biden. They're not always wrong about the facts. But their selection bias is obvious. Jordan Liles had to decry a satire site that might convince some dullards in an article titled:
Did Karine Jean-Pierre 'Admit' Biden Won't Visit Maui After Fires Because 'It's Not a Swing State'?
That headline should be obvious. Any competent press secretary would never say such a thing out loud if that were the internal calculation. (Now insert the joke that Karine Jean-Pierre isn't one of those.)
The byline on this bogus piece is "Flagg Eagleton, Patriot," which ought to put your tongue in your cheek.Then they turn to their own fake White House correspondent, named "Tara Newhole." There's no video for evidence. As Snopes explained, there is no one at Telemundo named Joseph Barron. The Dunning-Kruger Times describes its content as containing "parody, satire, and tomfoolery."
So the fact check is accurate -- in Biden's defense.
But conservatives have raised the point that Biden has yet to live up to his pledge to visit East Palestine, Ohio after the toxic train derailment there.
But the Snopes fact-check did not mention East Palestine, so there's no reason for Graham to bring it up here other than to play whataboutism.
When the press briefings restarted later in the month, Curtis Houck was unable to hide his hero-worship for the return from paternity leave of his favorite biased right-wing reporter, under the embarassing headline "Return of the King," in his writeup of the Aug. 28 briefing:
Fox White House correspondent Peter Doocy finally made his return to the White House Briefing Room Monday after paternity leave and, given his long time away, he came out guns blazing on Biden family corruption and even the latest attempt by the federal bureaucracy to further encroach on the lives of ordinary Americans. On both counts, he made Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre look even more inept.
Following pleasantries between the two (with Jean-Pierre insisting, “I’ve missed you”), Doocy led with a question he predicted she “probably [was] not expecting”: “Does President Biden want to limit Americans to two beers a week?”
Jean-Pierre was exasperated: “I — I — where is this coming from? Maybe I did — maybe I didn’t miss you so much. Where is this — where is this coming from?”
Doocy then explained it came from “Dr. George Koob, who is the director of the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism,” who “says the U.S. may soon follow Canada and recommend just two beers a week.”
Asked how the administration “think[s] that’s going to go over,” Jean-Pierre ducked, saying “what I’m not going to get in involved in” is “that question right there” and instead she’d cede to “the experts.”
Doocy then pivoted to Hunter Biden and his life of ruin with two simple questions that, in classic Doocy fashion, led to a larger narrative. The first? “The Secret Service is paying $16,000 a month now to stage near Hunter Biden in Malibu. Who’s paying for that?”
Houck couldn't stop gushing further over Doocy -- adding his biased correspondent wife into the mix as well -- in his writeup of the Aug. 29 briefing:
After Monday’s smashing return to the White House Briefing Room, Fox’s Peter Doocy had a new topic to do battle with Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre over. Monday’s foray concerned Biden family corruption and another example of the expanding nanny state, but Tuesday focused on a captured ISIS sympathizer that had been working to smuggle people across the U.S.-Mexico border.
Prior to Doocy’s back-and-forth, Jean-Pierre was also under the gun from Doocy’s wife, Hillary Vaughn of the Fox Business Network, over transgenderism continuing to infect women’s sports. Vaughn started by wondering if Biden agreed with 2024 GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley that transgenderism encroaching on girls sports “is the women’s issue of our time.”
Jean-Pierre wasn’t amused based on her answers. Lamenting “we’ve talked about this many times” and “[t]he Department of Education proposed a rule...that gives schools the flexibility to establish their own athletics policies” on a topic that’s “a complicated issue.”
Of course, it isn’t. And Vaughn made that clear: “The President has granddaughters. Does he care that girls are allowed to compete in sports without the fear of injury? Does he think it’s fair for girls to have to compete against biological males?”
Jean-Pierre stammered some before reiterating the cockamamie assertion that this “is a complicated issue” and “[t]here is no yes or no answer to this.”
Doocy closed the briefing with his exchange, starting with a simple question: “How is it possible that an ISIS sympathizer is sneaking people into this country?”
Houck slobbered over Doocy's bias even more in his writeup of the Aug. 30 briefing:
During Wednesday’s Doocy Time at the White House press briefing, one of the questions from Fox White House correspondent Peter Doocy drew looks of incredulousness and disgust from liberal journalists seated next to and behind him. Doocy’s crime? Asking White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre if the response to Hurricane Idalia was smoother vs. the Hawaii wildfires because President Biden wasn’t on vacation.
Doocy was blunt: “[I]t seems like the hurricane response so far is robust. Did you guys realize that the initial Hawaii wildfire response was not that good, or is it just easier for people to get help from the White House when the President is not on vacation?”
As he finished, NBC’s Peter Alexander closed his eyes and raised his eyebrows as if he couldn’t believe Doocy’s query and, behind them, liberal reporter Annie Linskey of The Wall Street Journal did the same before briefly squinting in Doocy’s direction.
Jean-Pierre, not surprisingly, was also taken aback and told him that she “disagr[eed]” with “the premise of your question and the way you pose the question.”
Spoiler alert: Of course Hawaii’s governor and two senators would sing Biden’s praises given they are, in fact, Democrats, and it’s what partisans do for each other.
And Graham wonders why Snopes needs to point out satire that can easily be treated as "news" in the right-wing bubble.
Note also that Houck made a point of identifying the Wall Street Journal correspondent as a "liberal reporter," but he has never explicitly labeled Doocy as "right-wing" or "conservative" reporter -- ironic given how much the MRC loves to lecture others about labeling bias.
UPDATE: The boys at the MRC are such Doocy stans that Kevin Tober wrote an overly excited Aug. 7 post ("HE"S BACK!") gushing that Doocy popped up on "Fox & Friends" during the midst of his paternity leave, where he "showed pictures of his daughter" and noted that she was wearing a presidential onesie ("Peter said he had gotten it from someone who works at the White House. Though he wouldn't say who exactly"). Tober closed by drooling: "From all of us here at NewsBusters, welcome back, Peter! And congratulations to you and Hillary on the new baby!" You can't make this stuff up, folks.