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On Friday night, Psaki stressed that she was not deliberately attempting to insult the 34-year-old Fox News White House Correspondent.
‘Full video shows I also told a story about Peter’s grace last night and made very clear I was not being critical of him or any reporter at Fox, and instead was critical of the slant of some Fox topics. He is doing his job. I am doing mine. We debate. We disagree. I respect that.’ Psaki wrote.
Her candid comments came during an episode of the podcast Pod Save America in Washington, D.C. that was being recorded on Thursday night in the capital.
‘He works for a network that provides people with questions that, nothing personal to any individual including Peter Doocy, but might make anyone sound like a stupid son of a b***h,’ Psaki stated.
The episode containing her frank assessment was released online on Friday.
Psaki was echoing her boss, President Joe Biden’s comment who earlier this year was caught on a hot mic calling Doocy a ‘stupid son of a b***h’ after the reporter asked Biden if inflation was a political liability for him.
On Friday night, Psaki defended her comments and stressed that she was not deliberately attempting to insult the 34-year-old Fox News White House Correspondent
Press secretary Jen Psaki was a guest at a Pod Save America live taping Thursday night at the Anthem in Washington, D.C. and was asked if Fox News Channel’s White House correspondent Peter Doocy was a ‘stupid son of a b***h’ or just played one on TV
In January, President Joe Biden was caught on hot mic calling Peter Doocy (pictured) a ‘stupid son of a b***h,’ which was the basis for the Pod Save America question on Thursday night
On Friday, CNN media correspondent Brian Stelter came to Psaki’s defense saying she’s possibly just ‘tired of all this’ after two years on the job and ‘maybe sharing how she really feels.’
‘I think the point she is trying to say there is that Fox pushes storylines that are sometimes nonsense. Doocy does that in the briefing room.
‘But still, she did it in a way playing to a liberal audience, that certainly is going to cause a lot of outrage from Fox. Probably for the next few days, right?’
Stelter described Psaki as someone simply speaking her mind.
Brian Stelter, CNN’s media correspondent, was asked on Friday about the ensuing row
‘I think Jen Psaki is kind of like – you remember in your senior year, spring of your senior year, when you are about to graduate, and you are just tired of all this?
‘I think we are seeing that from Jen Psaki.’
Fox News Channel’s John Roberts, a former White House correspondent, criticized Psaki on Twitter saying: ‘Note to Press Sec: Peter Doocy makes the decisions on what topics he wants to quiz you on, and develops the questions himself. His philosophy is a basic tenet of journalism. Comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable.’
‘If that makes all of us “stupid s.o.b.s”, so be it,’ Roberts added.
Fox News Channel’s John Roberts, a former White House correspondent, clapped back at Psaki on Twitter
Alongside Stelter there were plenty of others on social media who also came to Psaki’s defense.
‘Not your greatest fan, realize you have to spin the best you can but you always did call on the Fox people that I compliment you for,’ tweeted Joe Spaits.
‘After so many years of clownish performances from the worst press gaslight secretaries we’ve ever seen, it’s nice to see the return to normalcy and professionalism that your tenure has demonstrated,’ said BrooklynDadDefiant.
‘That’s okay. You work for a White House where everyone sounds like a stupid son of a b***h,’ wrote Dan O’Donnell.
‘You are an excellent press secretary, but he’s not doing the job of a journalist; he is a propagandist who deserves no respect,’ Tweeted U.S. Army Vet David Weissman.
‘I appreciate that you’re trying to take the high road, but I wish the administration would take on the destructive force that is Fox “News” directly and push it to either change or be abolished’, added another Twitter user.
‘I think his questions serve a public service by allowing you to explain complicated issues at a kindergarten level. That way everyone is informed,’ joked Da Gummit.
‘You have become a national treasure. You go girl.’ declared Iris Suarez
There were plenty of others on social media who also came to Psaki’s defense
During the podcast recording on Thursday night, Psaki added: ‘Can I tell a nice Peter Doocy story?’
She recalled how after Biden knocked Doocy on the hot mic, on January 24, the president called the reporter to apologize.
Doocy was then asked about the phone call on Sean Hannity’s show that night.
‘So he went on TV that night and I actually watched Sean Hannity to see what he said. My mind was like really bending and hurting,’ Psaki recalled.
‘If you can imagine, it was like flames and it was like “Crime! Crime! Crime!” and Kamala – the vice president is like walking through the flames and crime.
‘I don’t even know what was happening.
‘But Sean Hannity asked him about, you know, what the president had said and what he said back.
‘And he could have been like, “He’s a son of a b***h” or “I’m standing up for …” whatever, he could have said anything.
‘And instead he said, you know he called me, we had a really nice conversation, I’m just asking my questions, he’s doing his job,’ Psaki continued.
‘So I will say, that was a moment of grace – you don’t have to like everything Peter Doocy says or does, but that was certainly a moment of grace by Peter Doocy.’
Psaki, pictured in the White House Press Briefing Room on Wednesday, is expected to take up a new job in the coming months
Earlier this month, news broke that Psaki was reportedly in talks with MSNBC to join the left-leaning network, once she leaves her White House post. She is expected to step down in the coming months.
‘She is about to leave the White House, she’s going to go to a job, likely at MSNBC,’ said Stelter.
‘So she is kind of relaxing, and maybe sharing how she really feels.’
And Stelter further defended Psaki, saying her remarks were not intended as an attack on Doocy, the son of Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy, himself.
‘To be fair, she didn’t really criticize him directly,’ said Stelter. ‘She was really criticizing Fox News as an organization.’
Fox on Friday defended their White House correspondent, and denied that he was told what to ask.
‘In his role as White House correspondent, Peter Doocy’s job is to elicit truth from power for the American public,’ a spokesperson said in a statement.
‘His questions are his own, he is a terrific reporter and we are extremely proud of his work.’
Speaking of her future plans, Psaki would not be drawn on when she planned to step down.
‘I will not be there forever. That is what I can confer,’ she said. ‘I am not trying to be talking point-y in saying this is the best job I’ve ever had. It’s amazing in so many ways,’ she continued.
She said one of the greatest lessons she’s learned from giving briefings for the past 15 months is that ‘you’re not at a dinner party and you’re not at a bar,’ and so even if the questions get ‘repetitive’ she needed to answer them with respect, so a reporter couldn’t go online and ‘make you seem like you’re Satan reincarnated.’
Psaki tangled with reporters, including NBC News’ Kristen Welker, over whether it was ethical for her to be discussing future job opportunities with employers like MSNBC while holding the position of press secretary.
Psaki argued that she’s handling it ethically.
‘Well, there are a range of stringent ethical and legal requirements that are imposed on everybody in this administration and many administrations past about any conversations you’re having with future employers,’ Psaki said from the podium earlier this month.
‘That is true of any industry you’re working in. And I have abided by those, and tried to take steps to go beyond that as well.’