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I believe Fox has accused the new press secretary of trying to look smart and of being prepared. Maybe that’s why they ask which questions are on the minds of reporters. So they’ll receive an informed answer.

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author

ha. the ultimate Fox insult

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founding

The only reason that asking about questions in advance would be a problem would be if the purpose press briefings is competition between the White House and the press, not to make sure the press gets the information it needs. By asking in advance Psaki can make sure she has the answers they want. The other day someone asked an interesting question that she wasn’t prepared to answer so she told them she would have to find out and get back to them. My needs as a citizen were not met because I wanted to know the answer and might not see her response. Unfortunately political journalists see briefings as an opportunity to win the gotcha game.

This morning the Washington Post is wringing its hands again over Biden’s brother trading on the family name. Funny how little attention has been paid over the years to the fact that Clarence Thomas’s wife has long been making a name for herself, and money as well, by promoting far right causes. That is a huge conflict of interest yet Thomas has never recused him self from ruling on a case she has lobbied on. She makes money which benefits him and he holds a lifetime, very powerful position which is supposed to be non-partisan, unlike presidents.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/frank-biden-berman-group/2021/02/02/b1cf23a4-63f7-11eb-8c64-9595888caa15_story.html

The media barely blinked over Neil Bush trading on his family name, hawking his reading program all around the world despite having no qualifications in education and having repeatedly failed in business. The media didn’t even make a big deal when Neil revealed in his divorce deposition that he was also rewarded with free prostitutes. I have asked a lot of people I know if they had heard about the antics of Billy Carter, Roger Clinton and Neil Bush. They were all aware of Clinton and Carter but so far no one has known about Neil Bush’s bad behavior.

Here is a rare article about Neil:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/2003/12/28/the-relatively-charmed-life-of-neil-bush/388db316-f6b9-456e-8720-b4b2bf60a8ab/

Making optics an issue only for Democrats is a way for the media to portray them as similar to Republicans when it comes to corruption.

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THIS!! Brilliant.

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Can't help but notice how the White House press corps finds its spine AFTER being abused by a Republican president. In 2009, after silently enduring Bush and Rove planting a stooge from a concocted outlet (American Eagle?) to lob softballs during the gaggle, the WHCA was enraged when Fox News' WH correspondent found his seat had been moved out of the front row. Not banned, merely moved, and even Jake Tapper got indignant about "our colleague" being slighted. Again, the only thing the WHCA truly cares about is its annual prom.

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for WH reporters to be complaining abt process after being bullied by Trump is remarkable

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This also goes to a bigger point and problem: That they view Fux Noise propagandists as "colleagues." They are colleagues the way the staff of the Volkischer Beobachter were colleagues of Edward R. Murrow. And I say that with a lot of admiration for Jake Tapper, who is one of the 5 1/2 journalists employed at CNN.

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I agree, Eric. If Jen was only calling on reporters with 'desirable' questions, this would be an entirely different matter. I was just on a radio interview this AM and asked for the topics the host wanted to discuss so I could consider and articulate my responses in a succinct, informed and clear manner. It's called being prepared so that one has accurate information. I wish some of these folks would focus on substance rather than minutia. Such a waste of energy...

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For the past 4 years, the White House Press Corps was an embarrassment. You are one hundred percent spot on with your critique.

But, honestly, I'm not surprised that they not only found their spines when Biden was inaugurated but that they're whining like little children about the Press Secretary now. It's like Republicans suddenly caring about the deficit when there's a Democrat in the Oval Office and Mitch "My Goal Is To Make Obama A One Term President" McConnell whining about unity.

The hypocrisy and shamelessness of both the GOP and the press is a blight on this country.

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It is. Absolutely. And the shame of it is it's that same media whose reportings giv the world a picture of the US.

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Also right on schedule, Politico has a story today about a Trump staffer who's having a hard time of it because (gasp) her job, pay and benefits ended when the administration ended and she didn't know that was going to happen.

The same outlet that's complaining about Psaki.

Absolutely worthless people and absolutely worthless "news."

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Tiger Beat On The Potomac Strikes Again!

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founding

More people need to understand what that refers to. I don’t think most people understand the cozy club atmosphere that exists among mainstream journalists and many of the people they cover.

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Thanks Eric. Correct as usual. May I offer an innocent explanation that aligns with facts?

The reporting to date indicates no reporter is being ignored. If that is so, the Press Secretary isn't "screening," but preparing. Imagine. (BTW--what happened to the honeymoon?) I see in these Comments many of your readers agree.

Ms. Psaki recently appeared on TRMS for an interview. She appeared smart, prepared, and professional. When RM pushed her on the alleged naivety of the Biden Administration about R cooperation, she politely, and effectively, pushed back on the question. My memory is that she said, "I have been in this town long enough" to know how it works, but her boss Joe Biden is optimistic and trying to heal the great divide.

In the middle of the prior administration there was a push to stop appearing for WH briefings, given the lies and abuse from the podium. The DC press kept going. Then the administration went over 300 days without a press conference, including the State Department and Pentagon, so the press covered Twitter like it was important news. After the coronavirus hit, and spread, briefings returned and the WH rearranged the chairs and moved them closer--and still the press kept going.

I am holding on to the "Biden principle," which I think boils down to all is not lost, and government can work with the right personnel, including a competent Press Secretary. Because we aren't out of the fascist woods yet.

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Jen was excellent on TRMS. She was like listen we will take a meeting with these jack holes but they aren't fooling anyone. And look not one of them even voted for the stimulus package. smh

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I read a few things in Daily Beast almost every day. The Beast piece that Eric wrote about today embarrassed me as a reader. Eric's criticism is completely warranted. Finally having a normal White House again should be cause for celebration, and while a normal administration should also invite normal criticism -- criticism that should itself be welcomed, this criticism was just whining. I'm sick of whining.

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Daily Beast can be excellent...and then they publish something like this

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Agreed, I would have liked to know the complaining sources to read their “journalism” product. I wonder if one of the people was Ed O’Keene from CBS?

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Or that chick Anita Kumar from Politico because just yesterday she was trying to put words in Psaki's mouth and Psaki had to clapback. I was like Anita you got a lot of nerve. Like where was all this pushback with the liars in Trumps camp? Jen is doing a great job and answering everyone's questions. These reporters get on my last nerve.

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Down here we call it "whingeing", but it's the same thing - the feeling of entitlement. How come these whingers manage to feel entitled to what they think they're not getting ?! We had a Prime Minister who turned Australians into a nation of whingers, not just the bloody media. :(

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This is a response from MSM not real journalism.

The press in this country never covered the Trump White House correctly because of Beltway comfort reporting.

It's lazy.

They reported from a place of fear. Fear of losing WH press credentials. Fear of no longer being viable in the "news" business.

They had no idea how to cover a fascist regime. America had escaped that until now. The entire rest of the world covered Trump differently than the American press. And now this? Why? We can't have a return to typical coverage without being hypercritical of the Biden administration to indicate they have a spine after all? Grow up. Put on the big pants and cover everything as balanced as possible and give the Biden administration more than 2 weeks. They are doing fairly well given what was left to them.

While we are at it, can we plead with anyone who will listen to bring back the Fairness Doctrine?

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founding

Your description of the problem with our media is spot on. Unfortunately the Fairness Doctrine only applied to broadcasts over the airwaves because the networks got to use them for free. It didn’t apply to cable, so it wouldn’t matter much if it had been kept in place, except in the case of radio.

However I cannot believe that today’s Supreme Court would uphold the constitutionality of any Fairness Doctrine given their rulings that we can’t even regulate money in politics because it equals speech. ( I think it actually equates to a powerful megaphone to drown out the speech of people who can’t afford one.) I am sure the SC would have already thrown out the Fairness Doctrine if Reagan hadn’t trashed it.

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The revocation of the Fairness Doctrine combined with changes in media ownership regulations and monopoly enforcement to make Rush Limbaugh possible.

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founding

And then the mainstream media treated Rush like a legitimate journalist. Media elites like Tim Russert and Katie Couric expressed their appreciation for being guests on his show. It was nauseating.

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I listened to him for a while when he first started in the late 80s. He was edgy, he was funny, but he wasn't yet obnoxious. Then the USAF reassigned me to Germany. He wasn't on AFN yet, so I was forced to take about a two-year break. Quite a few of us were excited to find out he was going to be on, listened to him for an hour, and asked ourselves, "What did I ever see in him?" Compared to the 1991 Rush, 1993 Rush had gone completely off the rails.

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founding

I remember him changing like that too once Clinton was elected.

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Yes it does, but it needs to be revised to include cable and social media. It was only a policy that ended with one court ruling in the DC Court of Appeals. It needs to be revised like the everything else with an addendum. IMO.

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founding

The odds of it passing muster with our Supreme Court are slim to none from what I have read. I have not seen one expert conservative or liberal who thinks there is a chance of even getting the original law resinstated let alone one that applies to cable or satellite broadcasts.

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/techtank/2020/06/24/why-creating-an-internet-fairness-doctrine-would-backfire/

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I am certain you are correct about that but something needs to be done. Not certain what.

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I agree. The only thing I have ever seen that has had some effect has been boycotts of advertisers who fund the lies and hate. But that needs to be done on a large scale and sustained with lots of publicity about the companies funding extremists outlets which hasn’t happened so far.

It also helps when more and more people choose news sites that are reality-based. Rupert Murdoch is panicking because CNN and MSNBC are now beating Fox News in prime time ratings. Granted is now doubling down on the extremism but it looks like it is a losing strategy. Rachel Maddow has come out on top in ratings recently. Also the more people go to reality-based news sites online, the more right wing outlets will realize their business model of appealing to right wing white people, many of whom are in a demographic that is dying off, is a loser. The one thing these people value over everything else is money.

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I agree with you on that MONEY is the only thing that will change the way we receive real news. The old saying Money the root of all evil.

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That is dead on accurate and for everyone who says it can’t be done, we must at least try. We used to try in this country. Yes boycotting has been effective so far and seems to be the only way people are held accountable in America. It certainly isn’t the justice system. That being said not everyone in government or SCOTUS can be persuaded but we need try and return to basic principles. The court did not used to only political. There used to justice. We can and must try to revise the Fairness Doctrine our our democracy will pay the ultimate price. We will become a sad footnote and a cautionary tale of an empire that was once great but ate itself.

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Regarding the Mike Lindell interview:

Somebody’s been listening to the lawyers.

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author

to the point where they walk off the interview! amazing

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Mike should have gotten a clue when the Newsmax anchor walked off the set.

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You know the press acts like it's the 1950s game show Twenty-One where it was discovered the games were being rigged to promote ratings. Sorry, not the same thing. In fact this White House's press briefings are the antithesis of the Trump nightmare as you point out. During the Trump years, the press continually invoked the scene from Animal House of a frat hazing ritual where a pledge in his underpants screams "Thank you sir, give me another!" as a deranged military ROC type continually hits him in the ass with a paddle. So now we have competent intelligent people working in the Biden administration including one brilliant, experienced, and savvy White House press secretary that actually prepares for her briefings. What a concept. As a former teacher I can tell you the best way to teach a class is to prepare, prepare, and prepare some more. That is done by know what students, or this case the press, is going to ask. Why is that important? So that the press might get an intelligent and informed answer to the questions they are asking. Maybe some day the DC press will wake up and realize they are not the story. And ironically, again as you point out, during Trump's term, they certainly had a chance to be the story when they were obviously abused daily. Instead, they elected to say thank you sir, give me another.

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Just waiting for Newsmax to equate Trump with Charles Van Doren and Joe with Herb Stempel.

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Standard Operating Procedure from the DC Press Corpse! Bow down before Republicans and whip out the shivs when it comes to Democrats.

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It's all part of the fact that everyone holds Democrats to a really high standard (which is the right thing to do) while giving Republicans a pass on pretty much everything.

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Congratulations. I've appreciated your point of view and also enjoyed The Good Stuff and The Fun Stuff immensely.

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Gosh, Eric .. a whole year of pointing out the bad behaviour of your media - and yet you're still here, and haven't had a heart attack ! Well done you ! :)

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Congratulations!@. Yeah, what is it about the WHCA? Stockholm Syndrome?

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Also, happy anniversary. I'm very glad I took Soledad's advice to subscribe!

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