(PatriotWise.com)- On Monday, a reporter asked Karine Jean-Pierre her first question as White House press secretary.
AP’s Zeke Miller asked her if she sees her role as representing the president’s interests? Or is she committed to telling the American people what their government is doing?
“I actually think that’s hand in hand,” she said. “I don’t think there’s – that there is any separation to that.”
The question got to the heart of what a press secretary is and how they handle the job’s inherent tensions; on the one hand, they serve at the pleasure of the president and are supposed to make the White House look good, but they also are expected to disseminate accurate information, work with reporters on their stories, and serve as a conduit between the press and the commander-in-chief.
How they handle conflicting duties determines their effectiveness. Jean-Pierre is the first openly gay Black person to hold the job.
Fox News political analyst Brit Hume said that you’re not the president’s spin doctor. You represent the media.
Hume said that the more partisan you are as a press secretary to protect a president’s political standing, the harder it is to appear neutral.
Past press secretaries have varied backgrounds and success. Like Obama’s longest-serving chief spokesman Jay Carney, some were journalists; others, like Trump’s first press secretary Sean Spicer, were career party flacks. Jean-liberal Pierre’s political background includes a stint as an MSNBC analyst, and critics say she wouldn’t be a fair broker from the podium.
Hume said that she must “gain credibility.”
She stumbled over a question about inflation by calling for corporations to pay their fair share of taxes and said she had no timeline for resolving the baby formula shortage.
A White House reporter said that they thought that left many people unimpressed in terms of the answer that she gave.
Her predecessor Jen Psaki received high marks for calling on various outlets, working well with reporters, and reliably holding briefings – she had 224 over about 16 months, more than the 205 combined over the Trump White House’s four years.
She had to sell spin like blaming Vladimir Putin for inflation, judging the false “whipping of migrants” border narrative, and ripping into critics of the widely panned Disinformation Governance Board that the Biden administration mothballed this week.
The white house reporter said that Psaki is a great conversationalist. “Is she always honest?” he asked.
He said no and that no press secretary has been honest because they wouldn’t last long.
After leaving the White House, CNN and MSNBC fought for Psaki’s services; she’s expected to join MSNBC in the coming months.
CNN’s Brian Stelter and MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace praised her for her commitment to accurate information. A writer for Poynter, the parent company of left-leaning fact-checking outlet PolitiFact, said Psaki restored “honor, dignity, and class” to the room.
Some in the room think the praise is misplaced.
Another White House correspondent told Fox News Digital that Jen Psaki didn’t sound like she was speaking for Biden. She was part of a team that avoided news and questions. The assessment was that Jen Psaki used the job to promote herself and MSNBC, not the president.
The White House reporter said that Psaki was quick on her feet, not afraid to mix it up, and we’ll see if “Jean-Pierre is up to it.”