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New Press Secretary, Same MRC Hate: December 2023-January 2024

The Media Research Center continues to be annoyed that non-right-wing media won't spew hate and invective at White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre the way it does.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 4/17/2024

In October, the Media Research Center’s Curtis Houck helped right-wing New York Post reporter Steven Nelson whine (with serious “Fatal Attraction” vibes) that White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre wasn’t calling on him — an assist he would never have provided to a non-right-wing reporter being dissed by his beloved Trump press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. Well, Jean-Pierre finally got around to calling on Nelson, and Houck rejoiced in his writeup of the Dec. 4 briefing:
During Monday’s White House press briefing, the ever-inept Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre had quite the day as she ended what had been a petty, 187-day blackout against the New York Post’s Steven Nelson, hilariously ended the briefing after a question from Real Clear Politics’s Philip Wegmann about the new twist in the Biden corruption saga, and was caught in a double standard by Fox’s Jacqui Heinrich over voting access.

With the penultimate slot in the briefing, Jean-Pierre surprisingly called out to Nelson, who thanked her and added that while “[i]t’s been awhile,” he’s “hop[ing] we can do more.” Jean-Pierre chuckled in annoyance, saying he took it “one step too far.” Bizarre.

Nelson cut to his first question:
Section 702 of FISA is expiring this month and, against this debate, Senator Wyden just this past month released a letter saying that the White House is secretly funding a domestic court record dragnet administered by AT&T.  Apparently, according to Wired, the White House altered funding for this program in 2021 and resumed at last year, and I was wondering what you could tell us about this program and the reason that it was paused and then resumed by the White House.
As Jean-Pierre often does with reporters she regularly calls on, she played dumb and said she’d “have to check with the team.”

Houck also did some Peter Doocy mancrushing by proxy:

Prior to Nelson and Wegmann, Fox’s Jacqui Heinrich channeled her colleague Peter Doocy by laying a trap for Jean-Pierre in asking if “the White House still believe[s]” that Georgia’s voting laws are un-American and promote voter suppression even though “Georgia did have record turnout” in 2022.

Nelson got to ask more biased questions of President Biden two days later, and Houck gushed over that too:

Two days after the end of a 187-day-long ice out by White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, the New York Post’s Steven Nelson was part of the press pool Wednesday during President Biden’s remarks about a funding battle with Congress on the border, Israel, Taiwan, and Ukraine, so Nelson jumped in afterward to press Biden on why he’s “interacted with so many...foreign business associates” of his brother Jim and son Hunter.

Nelson shrewdly caught Biden’s attention by saying he had questions about China and Ukraine and they certainly were….but not on Biden’s terms. Biden probably forgot that Nelson was the reporter who asked him on June 8 if, based on the investigation from the House Oversight Committee, he accepted bribes and sold out the country. Smart move, Steven.

He then dropped two devastating numbers for Biden amid his reelection campaign (and simply in terms of credibility with the American people): “[P]olling by the Associated Press...shows that almost 70 percent of Americans, including 40 percent of Democrats, believe that you acted either illegally or unethically in regards to your family’s business interests.”

Given the dozens of liberal media puff pieces and both general and specific allegations of Biden family malfeasance, it’d certainly be higher if weren’t for such a complicit media.

Um, isn’t Houck part of a “complicit media” for Republicans and against Biden? Let’s not pretend he’s acting any different than what he’s accusing others of doing.

Houck unusually praised the Biden White House for adhering to right-wing pro-Israel narratives during the Dec. 6 briefing:

Wednesday’s White House press briefing took a dark turn when an Arab reporter lashed out at Israel as “a terrorist state” inflicting “collective punishment” on Gazans and “killing...civilians” and “journalists” just moments after a reporter from the Saudi-funded Alarabiya asked whether the U.S. finds it “acceptable” and “positive” that “the ratio of killing Hamas fighters is equivalent to two civilians.”

On both counts, the National Security Council’s John Kirby wasn’t having it. In the case of the former, he began by kvetching about the plight of the Lebanese army, which isn’t particularly sterling given the country’s largely run by the Iranian-backed terrorist group, Hezbollah.

Houck didn’t mention that civilians in Gaza are being killed at an unusually high pace for armed conflicts, and that numerous journalists covering the conflict are also being killed. But then, that would deviate from the approved narrative.

Houck lazily summarized two days of briefings in one Dec. 15 post, with an emphasis on Doocy mancrushing:

With President Biden out and about to start the week, White House press briefings didn’t kick off this week until Wednesday and continued on Thursday, leaving plenty of space for questions from the left bashing Israel, the New York Post ’s Steven Nelson and Real Clear Politics’s Philip Wegmann stumping Biden flacks Karine Jean-Pierre and John Kirby, and, of course, Doocy Time on Hunter Biden’s life of ruin, illegal immigration, and White House leaks.


Fox’s Peter Doocy had his own questions on this: “You said that President Biden was familiar with what his son was going to say on Capitol Hill. If I called my dad and said, ‘I am about to violate a congressional subpoena,’ he would probably say, ‘Son, you shouldn’t do that.’ Was there any attempt by President Biden to talk Hunter out of it today?”

Jean-Pierre reiterated Joe “was familiar with what Hunter was going to say” and remains “proud of” him, but refused to go further (and thus have her cake and eat it too) because Hunter’s “a private citizen” and thus his chats with his father are “private conversations.”

Doocy also hammered away on illegal immigration, wondering if “10,000 illegal border crossings” in just one day would be enough for the administration to “admit...the Biden border policy so far has not worked” and if 1,000 of those being gotaways is “a national security risk.”

On both, Jean-Pierre instead bashed Republicans, accusing them of wanting to slash the number of border patrol agents and prevent law enforcement from stopping the flow of fentanyl.

Shifting to Thursday, Doocy Time was with Kirby as the Fox correspondent wondered “why would somebody around here leak that the Vice President is upset with the President about Gaza”.

Kirby noted the regime officially “refute the basic premise of” it, but he didn’t entirely because a vice president should be “offering...advice and counsel to the President” and everyone there “wants to see the Israelis be more surgical, more precise”.

Doocy unsuccessfully tried again, but not without a hilarious flub as he asked whether “President O’Biden” and his team were “okay that people...are going to press with this.” Naturally, it drew more than a few laughs, including from Kirby and Doocy.

If Jean-Pierre had made such a mistake, Houck would have portrayed it as further evidence of her purported incompetence. But because Doocy did it, it’s merely a “hilarious flub.”

Houck started winding down the MRC’s year in hating Jean-Pierre in a Dec. 22 post covering two press briefings, beginning with touting Mrs. Peter Doocy (as Houck calls her on his Twitter account):

With Tuesday and Thursday serving as the final White House press briefings of 2023, we had everything from questions at the border — which was a focus of the year’s first briefing — to more pro-Hamas idiocy.

Starting with Thursday, the best exchange came when the Fox Business Network’s Hillary Vaughn battled the National Security Council’s John Kirby over the latest flare-up in the seemingly never-ending Biden border crisis.

Vaughn started with the simple question of whether President Biden had “seen photos and videos from the past week of the sea of people crossing into this country illegally” beyond being briefed.

When Kirby demurred, Vaughn called out the administration’s pro-illegal immigration policies, such as giving illegals nearly a decade to mill about the country before a judge will hear their asylum claims: “Some illegal border crossers are being given court dates in 2031. What are they supposed to do here for seven years?”

Kirby took a page from his far-more-inept colleague, Karine Jean-Pierre, by punting to Homeland Security since he’s “not in a position to — to talk about specific cases like that”.

Vaughn kept pressing, pointing out Biden seems to be creating this crisis “for the next president” and if he believes it’s a problem to allow people to put down roots here before presumably being deported if their asylum claim is denied.


In the seat usually occupied by Vaughn’s husband, Peter Doocy, their colleague Rich Edson also had a simple question Kirby answered with a whole lot of nothing: “How successful would you say the administration’s efforts to stem root flow, to get to the root causes of migration have been?”

Houck finished out the year with a few briefing-related summary items. The first, on Dec. 26, lashed out at journalists who didn’t follow pro-Israel narratives:

For decades, the liberal media have always had a soft spot for Hamas. Heck, even the Associated Press’s Gaza bureau shared a Gaza City high-rise with the barbaric Islamists. In the days following Hamas’s animalistic reign of terror on October 7, some in the White House press corps pestered National Security Council’s John Kirby during briefings with Hamas talking points.

Kirby, while a longtime Democratic administration apparatchik, showed serious fortitude to not only push back on, but utterly demolish many of their galling takes while reminding them that Hamas’s inhumanity on October 7 started this war.

Houck left out the part where the AP said it did not know Hamas was in the building and that Israel refused to provide evidence that Hamas was there, which puts the lie to his “soft spot for Hamas” claim and making it seem he approves of the death of journalists who don’t push his approved narratives. Further, Houck portrayed questions about Israel’s actions or that showed concern about civilians in Gaza as being “for Hamas.”

A Dec. 28 post attacked questions by “stooges” from “the left”:

On Tuesday, we took a look back at six moments from the past year when the questions inside the White House’s Brady Press Briefing Room skewed in favor of Hamas and against Israel. This time, we’re going to serve up six more times journalists showed their far-left bona fides, except this one will be more of the traditional sense as this summary touches on gun control and race.

This list focused on questions asked by journalists, so we left this one out as an honorable mention as, on April 24, the entire press corps – left, right, and center – failed to bat an eye when Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed during government spending negotiations that Republicans purposefully wanted to “fill our cities with smog,” “give asthma to our children,” and let oil companies use chemicals that’d “melt bones.”

Houck’s final year-end piece was a Jan. 1 post in which he summarized “the 12 best moments – battles, beatdowns, and hardballs – from 2023, the first full year of the ever-inept Karine Jean-Pierre’s term at the podium.” Unsurprisingly, most of those questions were from biased right-wing reporters, whom he refused to give an ideological tag as he did with the purportedly “far-left” reporters.


Houck started off a new year with the same old hatred of Jean-Pierre, spending a Jan. 2 post complaining that non-right-wing outlets that interviewed her didn’t heap Houck-esque slurs and abuse on her:

On Tuesday morning as more Americans returned to work, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN This Morning, and MSNBC’s Morning Joe partnered with their allies in the Biden administration to forcefeed viewers White House propaganda in the form of softball interviews with Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

ABC shamelessly had a Jean-Pierre predecessor — co-host and former Clinton official George Stephanopoulos — interview her and billed it as a chance “to discuss President Biden’s priorities and challenges in the year ahead.”


Thanks to Stephanopoulos refusing to interject on her tome-sized answers, the Clinton official allowed her to run out the clock and left time for not a question, but acknowledgment of the border crisis: “Also tied up in those negotiations, border security. Many American cities now overwhelmed with this immigration crisis.”

Given the lack of time remaining, Stephanopoulos did nothing to challenge her answer ripping Governor Greg Abbott (R-TX) for making American less safe by bussing and flying illegal immigrants to major cities away from his state (which would, therefore, be an admission that illegal immigrant criminals should be taken off the street).

CNN presented the only sorts of challenges and, not surprisingly, they came from the left as fill-in co-host Audie Cornish brought up student loan debt and urged Biden to use more executive orders.

Tim Graham regurgitated all this in his Jan. 3 podcast:

The White House sent out press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre for a round of softball TV interviews on ABC, CNN, and MSNBC on January 2. George George Stephanpoulos began: “A lot of the polls show him — especially in the battleground states — trailing or tied with Donald Trump. What does the White House think about that? How can you turn it around?”

As often happens, KJP unspools an answer for more than a minute, without interruption. Salesmanship is given space. She can claim Biden “has accomplished more in three years than any other President has been able to do in two terms,” and no one objects. 

Sometimes, the host didn’t even ask questions, just a sentence to move things along. How can anyone see this and think these networks do “news” instead of just offer publicity and spin? NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck explains the press-White House partnership.

CNN’s Audie Cornish only wanted to challenge her from the left, that somehow “young voters” thought Biden wasn’t doing enough to forgive their student loans without any authorization from Congress. Who cares about the balance of powers!?

Houck and Graham seem to have forgotten that they tossed nothing but softballs when they had the chance to interview former Trump press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, so their complaint here is utterly hypocritical.

Houck delved into gossip in a Jan. 5 post, cattily touting an Axios report that “the impressively incompetent Karine Jean-Pierre seems to be jealous and upset with having to share so many briefings with National Security Council spokesman John Kirby”:

Why? It’s obvious as Kirby, unlike Jean-Pierre, has a grasp of the English language and shown a basic level of competence in handling of issues in his portfolio, such as Israel vs. Hamas war. And it doesn’t hurt that he’s even smacked down a few reporters for their pro-Hamas takes.

“They share a podium — and a mutual frustration. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and the National Security Council’s John Kirby frequently split the podium at media briefings, but behind the scenes their relationship is fraught with tension, White House sources tell Axios,” Thompson began.


Kirby, for his part, has reportedly become “frustrat[ed]” by Jean-Pierre still calling on reporters for him to take questions from with Thompson’s sources stating another obvious point, which is it’s a sign of Jean-Pierre’s “insecur[ity].”

Instead of wondering if this was due in large part to Jean-Pierre’s incompetence, Thompson carried water and fretted Kirby’s role really hadn’t existed in previous administrations[.]

Houck offered no evidence for Jean-Pierre’s purported incompetence that isn’t grounded in his personal and partisan hatred of her.

As for the content of actual briefings, Houck lazily rolled them into a Jan. 8 post that made sure to repeat that cattiness:

Last week featured only two White House press briefings (Wednesday and Thursday), but it brought about more of the same as the National Security Council’s John Kirby helmed much of both installments when taking questions about foreign policy and the ever-inept Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre began 2024 with nothing but venom for Biden’s opponents on domestic issues.

Not so coincidentally, the two briefings came prior to a hilarious Axios item on Friday that revealed Kirby and Jean-Pierre reportedly have an icy relationship.

Houck then listed “the best and worst questions from the week”; unsurprisingly, the “best” questions were all from right-wing reporters, whom Houck refused to identify as such.

A Jan. 8 post by Bill D’Agostino was all about whining that Jean-Pierre largely declined to answer biased questions from right-wing reporters about purported Biden “scandals”:

In the second half of 2023, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre answered only two questions about the scandals facing the President Joe Biden. That brings the yearly total to a paltry eight such questions that Ms. Jean-Pierre answered across 75 White House briefings.

MRC analysts examined official White House transcripts of every briefing Jean-Pierre conducted in 2023, recording every question she was asked about one of three major scandals faced by President Biden — his alleged mishandling of classified documents as Vice President, the corruption allegations against the Biden family, and the mysterious bag of cocaine found in the West Wing.

Of the 337 scandal-related questions that White House reporters asked, Jean-Pierre provided a definitive answer to just eight of them (2.37 percent). This figure tracks very closely with our findings from the first half of 2023, in which the Press Secretary answered only six out of 252 questions (2.38 percent).
Yes, the MRC apparently still believes that the handling of classified documents is a “scandal” only for Biden, even though he fully cooperated with authorities when it was revealed, while Donald Trump acted egregiously to deceive the authorities to the point that Mar-a-Lago had to be raided in order to retrieve them (which, of course, the MRC tried to defend). D’Agostino, meanwhile, is not going to discuss the hypocrisy of his complaint; we don’t remember the MRC complaining when Trump’s final press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, routinely refused to answer questions about things she didn’t feel like talking about.

Because an MRC “study” — however lame and hypocritical — must be amplified, D’Agostino appeared on his boss Tim Graham’s podcast that day, where he “discuss[ed] the consistency of KJP’s stonewalling, and his generous definition of an actual answer.” There was no indication in the writeup whether the two discuss McEnany similar aversion to answering questions.

Curtis Houck spent his writeup of the Jan. 10 briefing whining about Hunter Biden making House Republicans look bad when he showed up at a hearing where they talked about arresting him for not showing up before their committee, hyping more biased questions by his mancrush, Peter Doocy:

Wednesday’s White House press briefing saw a predictable drop-off in hardballs on the latest Biden administration scandal of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin going MIA for days with what he later revealed were a series of hospital stays for prostate cancer. Thankfully, there were a smattering of questions about Hunter Biden’s latest D.C. stunt as he appeared in-person for a House Oversight Committee hearing to discuss holding him in contempt of Congress.

Fox’s Peter Doocy was in the thicket of it. After two questions about whether President Biden cares more about illegal immigrants than Americans since a New York City school briefly went virtual to serve as a shelter, Doocy asked the ever-inept Karine Jean-Pierre to be honest: “And — and Hunter Biden on Capitol Hill today. How big of a headache is that for you?”

Jean-Pierre played up the “private citizen” excuse, arguing he’s “not a member of the White House, as you know, and I just don’t have anything else to share.”

Doocy really got to the heart of the matter with his next statement: “But the last time he was on the Hill, you said the President was certainly familiar with what his son was going to say.”

Jean-Pierre confirmed she said that, but didn’t go any further as Doocy interjected with this scorcher: “So, the official line that President Biden does not help him with his business deals, but he does help him skirt congressional subpoenas?”

This left the press secretary incensed: “That is not even true. That — that is a jump that is — that is incredibly disingenuous in that question.” Doocy countered she should then “help us out”, but Jean-Pierre insisted she was by saying she didn’t “have anything else to share.”

Interestingly, Houck didn’t dispute that Doocy was acting like a jerk — but he was apparently cool with it since Doocy got his boss’ (and the MRC’s) right-wing talking points in.

Houck served up more Doocy-fluffing in a Jan. 12 post touching on briefings from the previous two days:

When you have the Fox News Channel and CNN asking the same thing this week during White House press briefings, that’s a bad sign for any administration. Such was the case as, on Wednesday and Thursday, CNN’s M.J. Lee and Fox’s Peter Doocy pressed the ever-inept Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre where has Joe Biden been this week as he wasn’t seen in public on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday.

Lee asked on Wednesday a simple question: “[C]an you tell us what the President is up to today?”


A day later, Doocy reupped these concerns: “President Biden has not had any events at the White House in the new year, and he’s been kept from public view for three full days now. Why?”

This time, Jean-Pierre more or less admitted that Biden needed a few days off: “The President had a three-day swing, went to four states in the new year.”


Doocy’s other question was intriguing, but drew a filtered statement about how “proud” Team Biden is of “taking...rules very seriously”: “There’s an item in Axios that President Biden was advised by the White House Counsel to stop giving big-dollar donors tours of the Oval Office. While he has been out of view of the public for the last three days, has he given any wealthy campaign donors tours of the Oval Office?”

Houck also gave some love to another Fox employee, Edward Lawrence of Fox Business, for spouting his partisan talking points on inflation.

Houck showed some love to a non-Doocy member of Fox News’ right-wing reporting staff for lobbing biased questions at Jean-Pierre during the Jan. 17 press briefing:

Towards the end of Wednesday’s White House press briefing, Fox’s Jacqui Heinrich confronted Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre with not one, but two bald-faced recent falsehoods offered up by the Biden administration about the border crisis that Republicans want to cut the number of Border Patrol agents and that Texas officials were responsible for the death of three illegal immigrants in the Rio Grande.

Having caught the National Security Council’s John Kirby as unable to “name a single lawmaker who has called to reduce the number of Border Patrol agents” during the January 4 briefing, Heinrich cut right to the chase with Jean-Pierre: “Why are you repeating this false claim that Republicans voted to reduce the number of Border Patrol agents even though The Washington Post gave the administration three Pinnochioes for that?”

Hilariously, Jean-Pierre immediately doubled down: “So, we don’t believe it’s a false claim. Our statements were very direct here. Last year, House GOP voted — voted — and not only did they vote for it, they touted — they touted their Limit, Save, Grow Act. That’s the act.”

Heinrich stepped in to point out House Republicans insisted their plan to cut government spending “would never — never affect Border Patrol” and “clearly stated at that time that Border Patrol, also veterans benefits, and entitlements would never be impacted”.

But, given the liberal media’s penchant for both covering for the White House’s lies and cosplaying grocery store gossip magazines over the various Trump trials, there was no reason for Jean-Pierre to change her lying ways[.]

Houck praised Heinrich for continuing to pump out right-wing border-obsession narratives in the Jan. 19 briefing:

While much of the questions during Friday afternoon’s White House press briefing centered on the Middle East, abortion, and Ukraine, Fox’s Jacqui Heinrich stuck to the border and got the ever-inept Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre to play dumb on a basic question: does the White House think the border is secure?

She arrived at that direction question by way of a recent House resolution: “What is the administration’s response to the 14 House Democrats who voted with Republicans the other day to denounce the ‘open border policies of the Biden administration’?”

Jean-Pierre expressed befuddlement, so Heinrich restated: “Would you have a response to 14 Democrats in the House believing that this President has open-border policies?”

The Press Secretary then decided to offer up an answer, insisting the White House has “been very clear” about “want[ing] to deal with...the border” and has been evidenced by “conversations, these negotiations in the Senate with Republicans and Democrats” (even though it’s a group of senators who decided to band together) and Biden’s supplemental funding request (i.e. throw money at it).

Among the many possible statements and exasperating one could make at hearing this, here’s one fact/question: If it’s so porous, why wasn’t the administration able to “deal with” it when their party also controlled Congress?

This led Heinrich to ask what should have been a yes or no question: “Is it — is it still the position of the administration that the border is secure?”

Like her predecessor Jen Psaki refused to call it a crisis, Jean-Pierre ducked what’s objectively a resounding no: “Our position is that we need to do more at the border. We have to do more at the border. That’s why these negotiations are currently happening. That’s our position.”

Heinrich used the reminder of her time to ask whether “the administration” sees “the efforts to impeach Secretary Mayorkas” as “unconstitutional.”

Of course, Jean-Pierre was somehow unprepared and instead blabbered about “shameful” “House Republicans...playing political games” and “not doing their jobs — the jobs that the American people want them to be doing” as evidenced by “the midterms in 2022.”

Houck always gets mad when Jean-Pierre refuses to play along with right-wing narratives.

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