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Friday, December 1, 2023
MRC's Jean-Pierre-Bashing, Doocy-Fluffing Watch, Enforced Break Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

Curtis Houck had to take an enforced break from insulting White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and fluffing right-wing reporters in the briefing room like Peter Doocy, but when the briefings returned, so did Houck's highly biased takes. He wrote about the Oct. 23 briefing:

Monday marked the first White House press briefing in 11 days, so the press corps had plenty to say about the Middle East crisis triggered by Hamas’s October 7 terror attacks in Israel. While some tried to‘both sides’ the situation, Fox’s Grady Trimble and Real Clear Politics’s Philip Wegmann battled National Security Council figurehead John Kirby and Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre over the rising anti-Semitism in America, especially on college campuses.

Wegmann pressed both on the issue, starting with Kirby. Noting there’s been more Republicans (but led by 2024 GOP presidential candidate and Governor Ron DeSantis) “who have called for students or foreign nationals who are demonstrating demonstrations or...allegedly pro-Hamas demonstrations to have their student visas pulled or to face deportation.”


The two went back-to-back during Jean-Pierre’s portion. Citing Wegmann’s exchange with Kirby, Trimble went further: “[D]oes the President view anti-Israel protests and sentiment on college campuses as anti-Semitism?”

Jean-Pierre shamefully refused to denounce it specifically and declined “to get into what’s happening across the country and — and different universities” given “the First Amendment...and peaceful protest is part of — part of our democracy, being able for folks to — to — to be able to express their feelings.”

She took a more esoteric track and sought to put equal weight on anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, arguing Biden “has been very clear in wanting to make sure that Jewish Americans, wanting to make sure that Arab Americans, Muslims are protected here” and “any type of violence” is unacceptable.

Trimble called out the mealy-mouthed answer and noted Biden’s bought into the idea on injustices that “silence” on such issues “is complicity,” so why wouldn’t Biden denounce “anti-Semitic letters being sent by students or [anti-Semitic] sentiment at protests.”

As if she were malfunctioning, Jean-Pierre doubled down even though FBI crime statistics show attacks on Jews account for 51.4 percent of religious-based hate crimes whereas those against Muslims tally only 9.6 percent.

To apploy the MRC's narrative on late-term abortions to Houck's point: Just because hate crimes against Muslims are allegedly not happening at the rate they occur against Jews doesn't mean they're not happening at all.

In writing up the Oct. 24 briefing, Houck touted the biased questioning of another right-wing reporter:

Towards the back-end of Tuesday’s White House press briefing, the Fox Business Network’s Edward Lawrence got under the skin of the ever-inept Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre by asking whether President Biden’s energy policies are helping to expand Iran’s oil coffers and thus leaving them with more money to fund terror groups like Hamas.

“So, Iran makes 70 percent of its revenue from oil. It’s doubled that oil output since 2019, adding $40 billion to revenues. So, are the President’s current energy policies giving Iran enough money to fund terror groups,” Lawrence asked.

With an incredulous look on her face, Lawrence noted that the “price of oil has gone up under this President” from an “average price of...$58” under Donald Trump to $83 now and thus gives Iran even more “money to fund these terror groups in the Middle East.”

Jean-Pierre finally responded in disgust: “I wholeheartedly disagree that we’re — we’re — you know, we’re — our actions are giving — is that what you’re saying? Can you say that again?”>[...]

Over in the Fox News chair, Jacqui Heinrich questioned frequent Jean-Pierre crutch John Kirby if the White House “agree[s] with the U.N. Secretary-General’s statement today that the Hamas attacks, ‘did not happen in a vacuum’” and defended Hamas by arguing “[t]he Palestinian people have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation.”

Houck chortled that "at the beginning of the briefing, Jean-Pierre offered an embarrassing mea culpa of sorts to make clear she believes anti-Semitism is a problem. However, she naturally still had to have the qualifier about Muslims and Arab Americans facing scorn because, as expected, she had to both-sides the issue." Houck didn't explain why he wants to pretend that other side doesn't exist.

Houck took a shot an Arabic journalist in his writeup of the Oct. 31 briefing:

Tuesday’s White House press briefing brought about more of the same with a slew of journalists standing up for Hamas and their civilian supporters in Gaza following an Israeli airstrike in Jabalia on a refugee camp allegedly posing as a giant human shield for Hamas operations. But within the questions was a curious question from one Arab reporter in which he shockingly claimed he’s lost 160 family members in the war.

The reporter was Sohail Al Shaer from the Egyptian TV station Alghad TV and he made the claim to the National Security Council’s John Kirby: “Mr. Kirby, thousands of Palestinian civilians have fallen so far, including 160 of my own relatives.”

Houck offered no evidence that Al Shaer was lying. He wen on to whine that non-right-wing reporters didn't hate Muslims enough:

Providing another example of how American tax dollars aren’t being used wisely, the government-funded Voice of America’s Anita Powll [sic] told both Kirby and Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre that Muslim Americans are furious with President Biden for supporting Israel and not supporting Hamas’s demands for a ceasefire.

In her question to Jean-Pierre, Powell wanted to know if any “outreach” was being done to assuage the “very many angry Muslim Americnas” and Jean-Pierre offered an eye-roller of a reply about Muslims “hav[ing] endured a disproportionate number of — certainly, of hate-fueled attacks”.

Houck made sure to show some love to his mancrush: "Doocy Time provided a contrast to all this leftist nonsense as he grilled Kirby about the way our porous southern border could lead to concerns about a terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Like most answers on this issue from the administration, Kirby ducked." He also hyped the continuing temper tantrum from another right-wing reporter:

And, as Jean-Pierre walked off the podium, the New York Post’s Steven Nelson lashed out at her for continuing to ignore him as, earlier in the briefing, he asked to be called on despite a five-month-long freeze whenever she’s been at the podium: “It’s anti-democratic to refuse questions from one of our country’s four largest newspapers, Karine!”

As we noted the last time Houck sympathetically hyped Nelson's plight, he wasn't nearly as sympathetic when Trump White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany refused to call on major media outlets because they weren't Trump stenographers.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:24 PM EST
Updated: Monday, December 4, 2023 10:51 AM EST

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