Jen Psaki is an objectively bad press secretary. It’s not because she’s a partisan, as all press secretaries are partisans. Rather, it’s because she’s constantly unprepared, can’t answer basic questions, and relies on the media lauding her for always needing to “circle back.”
Given that, it’s a bit of a surprise she’s as bad as she is while also trying to cheat the system. Apparently, Psaki has been pressing reporters prior to briefings on what questions they are going to ask.
The requests prompted concerns among the White House press corps, whose members are sensitive to the perception that they are coordinating with political communications staffers https://t.co/wmssZcJQuZ
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) February 2, 2021
I’d guess there are more than enough biased reporters in the briefing room who are willing to oblige Psaki’s requests. This is traditionally seen as a no-no because it involves the direct coordination of messaging between the press secretary and journalists. The game is supposed to be simple. The press show up and ask questions. The press secretary is then supposed to answer those questions on the spot without time to come up with focus-grouped spin. Psaki sees herself as above the rules, though, and when the media are happy to mostly play along, that’s an easy position for her to take.
This is a far cry from the ambushes that Kayleigh McEnany, among other GOP press secretaries, had had to always contend with. Anyone think CNN reporters were giving Sarah Huckabee Sanders a heads up on what they were going to ask her for the cameras later that day? Heck, if a GOP press secretary had even tried to work such a scheme, it would have blown up into a major scandal, with claims of press manipulation and suppression of the First Amendment.
The Biden administration is made up of consummate slackers. These are people who have lived in the bubble for so long that they don’t even have to try to actually do their jobs well. Psaki knows the media will write glowing profiles no matter what she does. If she filibusters and always has to “circle back,” well that’s just proof of how careful and meticulous she is. Every part of the game is rigged and Psaki is just enjoying the fruits of that.