There really should be some minimum standards set in order to acquire press credentials for the White House briefings. The press secretary should not have to be burdened with responding to childish nonsense and politically loaded set ups.
Early in the Biden administration, his press office articulated criteria for access saying that, “Organizations or individuals who traffic in conspiracy theories, propaganda, and lies to spread disinformation will not be tolerated.” But for some unexplained reason Fox News is still there. It is plain that they fail to meet the necessary criteria. For example, On Thursday, Fox’s White House correspondent, Peter Doocy, asked Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre this puzzling question about new guidance from the CDC about COVID protocols (video below):
Doocy: President Biden says that we are not returning to lockdowns, shutdowns, and school closures, but he also once said that we didn’t have to wear masks anymore once we were vaccinated. So, why should Americans trust him now?
Doocy’s question is founded on the ludicrous premise that things never change. So anything that a president says at one time must remain operative for eternity. If, for instance, President Biden told you it was unnecessary to turn on your headlights at noon, then he should not be trusted if he later tells you to turn them on after the sun has set.
This is the situation that currently exists with regard to the COVID pandemic. A few weeks ago it appeared that cases were declining and preventive behaviors like mask wearing could be set aside for people who had been vaccinated. However, with the emergence of the much more transmissible Delta variant that has become dominant, there is now more risk for the unvaccinated, but also for the vaccinated who can contract “breakthrough” cases.
Such cases are still rare because the vaccines continue provide excellent protection. And if a vaccinated person does get infected, they will likely have mild symptoms, or none at all. However, they could still transmit the virus to someone who has not been vaccinated. Which is why they should wear masks in public places. It’s mostly a protection for others.
These concepts appear to be way over Doocy’s head. He regards the changing guidance as some sort of admission that the vaccines don’t work. That’s a conspiracy theory peddled by his Fox News colleague Tucker Carlson nightly. They also try to fear monger about mask wearing as a government plot to control the population. But no one on Fox News has yet explained the logic behind such a plot, how it would enforce any type of control, or how it would benefit Democrats to annoy people with mandates that are allegedly unnecessary and unpopular.
Jean-Pierre was too polite to humiliate Doocy with the obvious answers above. She just calmly explained to him, as she would to a child, the reality of managing an ongoing health crisis:
Jean-Pierre: Well, because we listen to the scientists; we listen to the experts. This is a public health situation. This is not about politics at all. This is about saving lives. And this is what the President is all about. He wants to make sure that we are saving lives. If you look at, Peter, the last six months, that’s what he’s done every day. And you see that in the numbers.
Now we’re at a point where we have to double down and make it very, very clear to people that we can’t let the pandemic win. We have to continue to fight.
Doocy: So if you’re listening to the science, if scientists come to you at some point down the line and say, ‘It is our opinion that there should be shutdowns and there should be school closures, you would do that?
Jean-Pierre: Well, like I said, we listen to the CDC and the experts and their guidance. The CDC is a body that is very well respected. And again, we follow their guidance.
Jean-Pierre seems to have picked up the patience and intellect of her boss, Jen Psaki. It’s too bad that Doocy has picked up neither. He will surely come back to the press room tomorrow with more painfully stupid questions that are aimed only at making political points, rather than enlightening the public. But then, that’s why Fox “News” hired him in the first place (at the request of his daddy, Steve Doocy, co-host of Fox and Friends).
NOTE: Twitter suspended the News Corpse account after 11 years without giving a reason. So if anyone wants to tweet articles from my website, please feel free to do so often and repeatedly. Also, Be sure to visit and follow News Corpse on Instagram. Thanks for your support.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.