ConWebWatch home
ConWebBlog: the weblog of ConWebWatch
Search and browse through the ConWebWatch archive
About ConWebWatch
Who's behind the news sites that ConWebWatch watches?
Letters to and from ConWebWatch
ConWebWatch Links
Buy books and more through ConWebWatch

New Press Secretary, Same MRC Hate: March 2024

In addition to the usual hate and abuse from Curtis Houck, the Media Research Center is annoyed that other media outlets don't give White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre the Curtis Houck treatment.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 6/6/2024

The Media Research Center’s Curtis Houck praised a non-Doocy Fox News employee for promoting right-wing narratives at the March 1 White House press briefing:
In a Friday White House press briefing that perhaps flew under the radar, Fox’s Jacqui Heinrich threw down with a flustered Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre over the ongoing Biden border crisis, including her pointing out the President’s hesitation to act via executive order on the border was curious given his penchant to use the pen on issues like student loans.

Heinrich cut right to the case: “Is the administration coming around to the idea that physical border barriers work?”

As Heinrich’s colleague Bill Melugin tweeted, Jean-Pierre was clearly not ready: “Can you say more? Where is this — what do you mean? Where’s this coming from?”

Heinrich then explained: “[I]t’s been six weeks since you guys won the Supreme Court case that would have allowed you to remove razor wire at the Texas border that you guys argued was — there’s an emergency, immediate need to take down, but it’s still up.”

Asked why that’s the case, a flat-footed Jean-Pierre punted to the Department of Homeland Security, insisting “I just don’t have anything for you on that.”


Jean-Pierre countered Biden has “taken action over the last three years” but “Republicans [are] getting in the way” of making lasting changes.

To this, Heinrich noted how, “in the meantime, while [the President’s] shaming people for not acting, he is also not acting.”

Jean-Pierre lost it, declaring “[t]hat is so false” and Republicans need to answer “what’s the problem” with backing Biden’s policies.

Okay, sure.

Houck looped his mancrush into his usual Fox News praise in his writeup of the March 5 briefing:

Despite the political world being focused Tuesday on the slew of presidential primaries, there was still a White House press briefing and, thankfully, Fox’s Peter Doocy and Fox Business’s Edward Lawrence were there to hold the ever-inept Karine Jean-Pierre to account on the border, inflation, Laken Riley’s murder, and President Biden’s growing need for notecards to function.

Doocy went second in Jean-Pierre’s portion and, on the border, it concerned an interview on CBS’s 60 Minutes with the head of the Border Patrol from Biden’s first two years in office: “How’s President Biden going to fix the border if he can go years without talking to the head of Border Patrol?”

Jean-Pierre initially played dumb, but after Doocy mentioned Raul Ortiz saying in the interview that he never once spoke to Biden or Harris did Jean-Pierre answer, claiming “he was invited, I believe, to participate in the President’s...visit to El January of 2023 and he did not attend.”

Jean-Pierre then attacked Republicans, saying they’re unconcerned about the border “because of what the former President, Donald Trump, told them to do — told him to reject” the bipartisan Senate deal.

This led to Doocy’s question about Laken Riley: “[W]ill President Biden publicly address Laken Riley’s murder allegedly at the hands of an illegal immigrant, was released by law enforcement multiple times on Thursday night. I know he’s cut a statement, but what about at the State of the Union?”

As usual, Jean-Pierre’s answer consisted of constantly tripping over her words, insisting “I do want to always acknowledge and extend our deepest condolences” to her loved ones, but wouldn’t commit to anything concerning the State of the Union.

Houck then huffed that “Jean-Pierre callously linked Riley’s murder to Republicans not taking the Senate border deal supported by the White House” — even though he and his fellow Republicans have been callously exploiting Riley’s death for political purposes. He then praised another Fox News reporter for spouting conservatively correct talking points:

Lawrence drew a miffed and somewhat angry response from Jean-Pierre when he pointed to Biden needing notecards to make it through even germane public appearance: “The President — I noticed, had — had note cards at the border when he was doing his briefing there. He also had note cards last Friday with the Italian prime minister. Why does the President relies so heavily on note cards?”

“You’re upset because the President has no cards? You’re — you’re asking me a question about the President having note cards,” she seethed as Lawrence clapped back that he’s “not upset” but merely “asking why”.

Instead, Jean-Pierre continued to lecture him for daring to ask that when Biden “has had — a — probably one of the most successful first three years of an — an administration than any modern day president” and “done more...than most presidents who had two terms.”

Amid a slew of shouts and even Newsmax’s James Rosen joining in, Lawrence insisted he’s simply wondering “why he relies so heavily on notecards,” but Jean-Pierre ignored it: “I think what’s important here and what the American people care about is how this President is delivering for — for them, and that’s what he’s doing. And that’s what’s the most important thing here.”

Houck censored the fact that most presidents have relied on notecards.

Houck then served up his usual biased interpretation — unsurprisingly heavy on the Doocy-fluffing — of the March 6 briefing:

Fox’s Peter Doocy made the most Wednesday afternoon of the last briefing for the week (with Thursday’s State of the Union and President Biden on the road for Friday) as he went around and around with the ever-inept Karine Jean-Pierre over whether Biden will actually debate former President Trump now the general election fight is all but set in stone.

But first, as a quick aside, Doocy led off with a question that drew some chuckles concerning Tuesday’s caucus in American Samoa: “[H]as President Biden called to congratulate Jason Palmer?”

Once Jean-Pierre replied that Team Biden does “congratulate Jason Palmer on his win last night,” Doocy cut to the main event: “Now that the field is down to two, is President Biden going to commit to a debate with Donald Trump?”

Jean-Pierre refused to answer, hiding behind the Hatch Act and thus punting to the campaign. Nonetheless, Doocy pointed out how, during the last campaign, Biden said he could “hardly wait to debate” Trump[.]


Doocy tried another way: “You get a lot of questions in here about these polls concerning the President’s age and his acuity. Do you think that it is going to quiet concerns about the President’s age and acuity if he decides not to debate?”

Only then with the qualifier that she wouldn’t specifically be “talking about the debate” did she opine that Biden’s age will be put to rest by the State of the Union and Biden “lay[ing] out his plans” after “a successful three years of progress.”

A long, winding answer later (that was interrupted by a loud sneeze in the back of the Briefing Room), Doocy kept pushing: “So, just for clarity, it’s possible that there will be no Joe Biden-Donald Trump debates this fall?”

Jean-Pierre thought she could mock Doocy into giving up: “Is that you — is that what you’re excited about? Is that what you want to see? Because you keep asking me. You asked me about three, four, five different times in different ways.”

Amid crosstalk, Doocy wasn’t having it: “I would love to see Joe Biden and Donald Trump debate. How about you? How would President Biden do in a debate? I’m not asking a question about a specific debate. I’m just — how would he do in a debate?”

Neither Doocy nor Houck mentioned the fact that Trump refused to participate in any debate with his Republican primary opponents, meaning that Trump — not Biden — is the one who needs to be questioned about his debate avoidance. Don’t expect them to do that, of course — narratives are more important than facts in right-wing media.

In his writeup of the March 12 briefing, Houck hyped how a non-Doocy Fox reporter obsessed over something President Biden said about Hungary:

During Tuesday’s White House press briefing featuring the ever-inept Press Secretary. Karine Jean-Pierre, and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, Fox’s Jacqui Heinrich dropped the jackhammer on President Biden declaring Hungary a dictatorship, the Biden border crisis, and Biden now touting Hamas-approved statistics on the war in Gaza.

Elsewhere, Bloomberg and ABC reporters questioned both on the bipartisan bill to force TikTok to divest from its Chinese Communist Party-linked parent company, and arguably the most pro-Hamas journalist in the room lashed out at the U.S. for supporting Israel.

Heinrich took the Hungary questions to Sullivan: “Is it the position of the United States government that Hungary, a NATO ally, is a dictatorship?”

Sullivan punted to the reelection campaign since the President leveled the charge at a campaign event, but conceded “we have made no bones about our deep concerns about Hungary’s assault on democratic institutions, including the judiciary, Hungary’s corruption, and other erosion of democracy in Hungary, from the leadership there.”

Heinrich tried again, arguing “a foreign policy statement of that magnitude would be made with, you know, some coordination” and not a “footnote”. Sullivan again declined to weigh in, even leveling a snarky charge that Hungary’s government “remains a source of grave concern to us and I — I take it from your question, it may be of grave concern to you as well.”

Surprisingly, a Fox reporter was actually defended by The New York Times with their White House correspondent Peter Baker noting Biden’s Hungary line was so significant that “[t]he Foreign Minister of Hungary than summoned the U.S. ambassador to answer for it and says that these were lies and an insults.”

Houck failed to disclose that his employer has a partnership with a right-wing Hungarian group that has close ties to the alleged dictator in question, Viktor Orban.

In another post on that briefing, Houck relied on a fellow right-winger to help him attack Jean-Pierre:

Amid the questions during Tuesday’s White House press briefing about the border crisis, TikTok, and the war in Gaza, CBS’s Ed O’Keefe had a brief exchange with the ever-inept Karine Jean-Pierre about a topic that might have seemed silly on the surface, but was worth asking, which was whether the White House has digitally altered photos like the British royals were caught doing with Princess Kate in what’s become what the Brits call a row.

But, thanks to work in the last year by our friend John Hasson at Townhall, we know Jean-Pierre’s answer was, at best, misleading.


In a September 6 post, Hasson took notice of a tweet from Joe Biden’s X account on the same day with a photo of Trump on the left and Biden on the right, alongside a headline from each man’s presidency on infrastructure. 

Hasson observed that, upon closer examination, “Biden’s altered appearance looks practically cartoonish” with his face appearing to have been made “thinner, and the wrinkles on his forehead, cheeks, and neck have been drastically reduced, smoothing his complexion” to help “mak[e] Biden seem younger and healthier than he really is.”

And it’s not just the White House. On August 1, Hasson called out numerous Biden allies on social media for making their elderly President appear younger:


So, while none of those came from the @WhiteHouse X account, Jean-Pierre certainly can’t say the regime’s hands are clean.

We don’t recall Houck (or Hasson) ever complaining that Trump posted photos on his social media accounts that make him look better than reality.

Houck had a meltdown over a White House spokesperson that wasn’t Karine Jean-Pierre in his post on the March 18 briefing, in which he manufactured outrage over the dishonesty of biased Fox News reporter Peter Doocy getting called out:

With the lone possible exception of Friday, Monday marked perhaps the week’s lone White House press briefing and Biden National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan certainly made waves for his decidedly anti-Israel pivot to help his boss President Biden stave off further hemorrhaging of pro-Hamas Arab voters (such as arguing Jews meddle in U.S. elections) and telling Peter Doocy his question was akin to the phrase “when did you stop beating your wife”.

The question that drew Sullivan’s pompous bit concerned an story about how Biden has reportedly felt increasingly angry about the state of his reelection fight. Doocy relayed one passage revealed that “when President Biden was told his handling of the war between Israel and Hamas was starting to affect his poll numbers, the quote is, ‘he began to shout and swear.’”

“So, when he does that, is he shouting and swearing about Netanyahu or about Hamas or about his poll numbers,” Doocy asked.

The snide foreign policy hack immediately went personal: “This is the ‘when did you stop beating your spouse’ question because I don’t think he ever did that.”

Reacting as most would to this sudden turn, Doocy reacted with an incredulous look on his face and an, “excuse me?”

Of course, no one followed up on Sullivan’s arrogant answer that runs counter to the years of reporting about Biden having a less-than-clean mouth:
Houck went on to whine that Sullivan was “peddling anti-Israel nonsense during the briefing,” though he didn’t explain why it’s “anti-Israel” for anyone to issue even the slightest criticism of how it’s conducting its war against Hamas. He also served up a fit of whataboutism: “the press corps were so bent out of shape concerned about Gazans (and the Hamas members embedded in their population) that it took until the 29-minute mark (29:27) of the nearly 54-minutes briefing (53:49) for anyone to bring up the roughly 1,000 Americans trapped in the hellscape that is Haiti.”

Houck returned to maliciously portraying anyone who asks questions about Israel’s prosecution of the war as “anti-Israel” in his writeup of the March 22 briefing in which he praised non-right-wing reporters for echoing right-wing narratives about the border:

Friday’s White House press briefing was largely dominated by anti-Israel-leaning questions directed toward John Kirby, but there was still time for the ever-inept Karine Jean-Pierre to make a fool of herself with exchanges such as ones with ABC’s MaryAlice Parks and Fox’s Peter Doocy over the viral video from our friend Jennie Taer at the New York Post and freelance videographer James Breeden of illegal immigrants overrunning a border fence.

To her credit despite being a lefty, Parks went first as the second reporter called on: “Has the President seen that dramatic video of migrants surging past National Guardsmen in Texas — in El Paso?”

Jean-Pierre not surprisingly admitted she had “not spoken to the President about that video”, but what she would say was it’s the fault of Governor Greg Abbott (R-TX) because Biden “has worked with Congress...about getting an immigration bill done” whereas Abbott has “politicize[d] this” and the reason the border has become “chaotic” and “dangerous”.

She even seemed to take disgusting and classless potshots at Texas National Guardsmen as weaklings. Parks wouldn’t push back on this, but wondered if this means Americans should “continue to” accept another “standoff” (click “expand”):

Of course, Houck takes disgusting and classless potshots at Jean-Pierre all the time. From there, he served up more slobbering over his mancrush:

A few minutes later, it was a textbook Doocy Time, starting with this short and biting but respectful and important question: “[W]hat does President Biden think should happen to adult men who are assaulting and overpowering U.S. National Guardsmen?”

Jean-Pierre refused to denounce the attacks on American soldiers, solely because they serve in Texas under a Republican governor. Instead, she thanked “Border Patrol agents for their — to — quickly — to quickly work and get the situation under control and apprehend the migrants” and again blamed Abbott for “politicizing” the border.

Doocy then called out the Biden administration for “talk[ing] so much about having a more humane immigration system,” but the video showed the opposite with “adult men landing haymakers on U.S. troops in uniform” as opposed to “helpless women and children begging for a safe place to come in”.

“If that was happening anywhere else in the world, wouldn’t President Biden sent reinforcements,” he asked.

When Jean-Pierre initially replied “[e]veryone was apprehended,” Doocy followed up: “Were they deported?”

Of course, Jean-Pierre refused to answer (because, as Taer reported Friday morning, they were released into the U.S.) other than more Abbott blaming.

Houck concluded by whining that another reporter “lobbed a softball at Jean-Pierre to attack Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL).” We don’t recall him complaining that anyone lobbed softballs at Trump press secretary Kayleigh McEnany — or that he lobbed his own softballs at her.

Despite all this hate, the MRC ended the month on something of a whimper, focusing on a media appearance instead of a briefing. Tom Olohan spent a March 27 post hatefully accusing in Jean-Pierre of [checks notes] doing her job by advocating for her employer:

After White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre spewed Bidenomics propaganda on the radio, she was smart enough to leave immediately. 

Jean-Pierre abruptly left a March 26 interview with 99.3 WBT’s The Brett Winterble Show after fielding questions on President Joe Biden’s age and the high prices Americans face under his administration. 

During the interview host and News Director Mark Garrison mentioned high gas and grocery prices, asking Jean-Pierre, “How does Mr. Biden win votes when people don’t have as much disposable income?”

Jean-Pierre proceeded to hypocritically blame a pandemic that began in early 2020 for Biden’s struggles before directly proceeding to criticize former President Donald Trump for “leaving the economy in a tailspin” for Biden to handle in 2021.

Jean-Pierre said, “You have to remember when the president walked into this administration, there were multiple crises happening. There was COVID...the economy was in a tailspin because of the last administration, because of what President Trump left us with.” 

Yes, Jean-Pierre, it is completely fitting to ignore the impact of the pandemic and the lockdowns of 2020 to denigrate Trump’s economic performance, but still insist that the Biden economy be graded on a curve because he took office in 2021 after millions of people were vaccinated. 

We don’t recall Olohan or anyone else at the MRC accusing, say, Kayleigh McEnany of engaging in “propaganda” while serving as Trump’s press secretary. Instead, Olohan served up his own propaganda:

It’s no wonder Biden’s proud propagandist ended the interview there.

Biden did drain 180 million barrels from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve in 2022, which is intended for emergencies. Nevertheless, gas prices are still higher under Biden than under Trump, rising from $2.42 a gallon in Jan. 2021 to $3.33 a gallon in Feb. 2024. Should Americans really be grateful because they remember that things were even worse at another point in the Biden administration?

After all, Americans already had to fork over the money. Americans’ average personal savings rate has dropped from 12.8% on Feb. 1, 2021, to 3.8% on Jan. 1, 2024. 

Jean-Pierre also avoided any challenge to her claim about Americans spending less at the grocery store. If Jean-Pierre had stayed, she may have faced further unflattering comparisons. Prices have risen 18.5% on Biden’s watch and Americans have been buffeted by 5.6% average monthly inflation under Biden. 

Olohan didn’t mention that WBT is in Charlotte, N.C. — suggesting that the MRC was a little desperate for Karine-bashing content — and that host Winterble is a former producer for Rush Limbaugh, meaning that Jean-Pierre was venturing into hostile territory by doing the interview. (For another example of that hostile territory, WBT also airs Mark Levin’s show.)

Olohan tried to make a big deal out of Jean-Pierre supposedly ending the interview abruptly: “Hanging up may save the embattled press secretary some embarrassment, but it’s not going to make Americans any more grateful.” Nothing like responding to claims of propaganda with, well, more propaganda.

More interview complaints

That wasn't the only Jean-Pierre interview the MRC complained about. Tim Graham spent a March 7 post whining that Jean-Pierre didn’t get the Curtis Houck smear treatment on a non-right-wing outlet:

The PBS NewsHour was comfy-friendly territory for Biden press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Wednesday night in her State of the Union preview. PBS anchor Geoff Bennett and Jean-Pierre were both MSNBC regulars a few years back.

The whole interview sounded like a Democrat strategy session. How does Biden use this speech to beat Trump? It’s allegedly a speech appealing for “unity,” but it’s a campaign speech?

Bennett began by declaring the speech is “essentially the hard launch of his reelection campaign. And this is a president who is facing sinking poll numbers, concerns about his age, a progressive base that’s been splintered over the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. How is the president aiming to use this speech to address those concerns, while also conveying his vision for the future?”

Here’s how you define softball interview: Jean-Pierre was then allowed to speak for 358 words (almost two minutes), about women’s reproductive health “under attack,” democracy “under attack,” blah blah blah, before they edited into the next question.

It’s quite ironic for Graham to complain about softball questions, given that softball questions were all he and Houck tossed when they had the chance to interview Trump press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.

Another non-Houck Karine-hater was Christian Toto, who devoted his March 9 column to pretending that Joe Rogan’s overheated rants about Jean-Pierre should be treated as serious political commentary. He started that mock-worthy Trump press secretaries got mocked:

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has it easier than her predecessors.

They often became comic foils for late-night hosts or “Saturday Night Live.”

Sometimes both.

Consider how satirists pounced and seized on President Donald Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer after just a few short months in the gig.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders proved far more capable in the gig. She, too, got pummeled by satirical comics.

Comedians won’t lay a glove on Jean-Pierre. That’s despite the way she constantly flips through her notes to answer basic questions. Her predecessor, Jen Psaki, proved far more competent.

One comedian noticed Jean-Pierre’s curious skill set, and his podcast is arguably the biggest show around.

The host of “The Joe Rogan Experience” teed off on the woman known as KJP on his latest episode. 

Popularity does not equate to insight, something Toto doesn’t seem to understand — he seems content to believe that because Rogan as “arguably the biggest show around,” he must have something worthwhile to say. He then went into stenographer mode:

Rogan, chatting with conservative activist Christopher Rufo, explored the likely 2024 presidential rematch between Presidents Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

The mind behind Austin’s Comedy Mothership club noted, once again, that Biden is too old to be campaigning for a second term.

“He’s so frail that he’s transparent ... to the point where the White House Press Secretary accidentally Tweeted as him from her account,” Rogan said. “I love it when that happens because, thank you, I was wondering, now I know. I kinda had a feeling it was you.”

Joe Rogan to Karine Jean-Pierre: You Should Be Fired

The podcaster then went from the rhetorical kill.

“Has there ever been a worse press secretary [than Jean-Pierre]?” he asked. “How did she get that job? She’s so bad at convincing people.”

There’s a bunch of hard-core, ideologically driven left-wing pundits that are on YouTube that would do a much better job, and they would be psycho about it, and the Left would be like, ‘Yeah!’ She’s not the one. She’s f***ing terrible at it. She gets called out for stuff all the time. She gets set up for stuff all the time. Like [Fox News White House Correspondent] Peter Doocy is always setting her up.”

“And she’s only really challenged by one person in the briefing room, and she manages to bungle it up on the daily,” Rufo said.

“There’s so much madness she has to cover up,” Rogan said, partially defending her.

Spicer had arguably more madness to cover up working for Trump — and neither Rogan nor Toto mentioned that Spicer infamously tried to do so in falsely insisting that a huge crowd turned out for Trump’s inauguration when the evidence clearly showed otherwise. And, of course, neither of them admitted that Doocy is a biased, ideological right-wing reporter — we thought right-wingers hated it when journalists displayed an biased and ideological agenda.

Further, despite identifying Rogan as a “comedian,” Toto identified nothing Rogan said that even remotely resembled a joke.

Send this page to:

Bookmark and Share
The latest from

In Association with
Support This Site

home | letters | archive | about | primer | links | shop
This site © Copyright 2000-2024 Terry Krepel