If you hadn’t heard, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki is stepping down from her duties today after a solid year and a half of service. Replacing her will be current Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. Psaki and Jean-Pierre appeared together in front of the podium in the White House briefing room on Thursday for that announcement.
But on Thursday, Psaki was still the acting White House press secretary and that means answering some bad questions. Psaki’s final days in front of the White House press were filled with the ominous stench of misogyny. On Monday, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s zealot-tome of a decision overturning decades of settled law was leaked to the press. This has led to a suspiciously well-coordinated screech from the right-wing-o-sphere concerning the specific nature of the leak. Chief Justice John Roberts has ordered a probe to find out how this first draft of the decision leaked out, as is his prerogative.
That being said, the more obvious, bigger and important story here is that after 50 years the Roe v. Wade decision is being overturned. A fundamental legal pillar that has been cited for decades in protection of women’s rights as well as reproductive rights is being overturned. On Thursday, NBC News’ Chief White House Correspondent Peter Alexander decided to imitate Fox News’ Peter Doocy in asking the least important and most useless question of the day.
Alexander, who was sitting just to Doocy’s left, must have been drinking out of the same cup-o-inanity as Doocy and asked Psaki why the Biden administration hadn’t “condemned” the leak of the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Psaki asked if Alexander ever reported on leaked information, to which Alexander said he had but that the Biden administration had been critical of him when he did. Interesting that he didn’t say the Biden administration condemned him, since they didn’t. Psaki, very diplomatically, gives Alexander the difference and also does Alexander’s job for him, explaining that his question doesn’t mean anything in the context of anything: “What we think is happening here is there is an effort to distract from the actual issue, which is the fundamental right—I don’t think they are at the same level.”
Alexander understands now that Psaki is saying his question about condemnation isn’t a meaningful newsworthy position in the context of more than half the population losing more than a half-century of established civil rights. “So they’re not at the same level, but would you agree it is worthy of condemnation?” Alexander asked, meaning I was wrong and he does not understand how even by his own use of language he is comparing apples and oranges where the apples are civil rights and the oranges are his feelings.
Let us say that the Biden administration were to release a statement “condemning” the “leak.” What exactly does that both look like and what might it accomplish, does Alexander think? What’s the news story? You want to stick it to Psaki and Biden? Ask them what they are going to do about this upcoming decision? Psaki and Biden represent a political party that has long established a strong belief in a person’s reproductive right to choose what they do with their body. There is existing state legislation and upcoming state legislation that steals millions of people’s rights. What is this administration going to do about that? That’s a question. Asking Biden about his feelings on a Supreme Court that clearly only represents the minority of Americans’ opinions being a leaky ship of shit is less than a nothing burger.
Psaki reminds Alexander: ”There’s been a call for an investigation by leaders of the Supreme Court. Decisions will be made by the Department of Justice and others, and that is certainly their space and their right to make that decision in government. That is how government is set up.” And after giving that quick civics lesson to the traditional “liberal media,” Psaki once again tries to get Alexander to understand how much of a propaganda tool his lack of talent is exposing him to: “But what we have seen, Peter, is that many Republicans—who are trying to overturn a woman’s fundamental rights—try to make this about the leak. This is not about the leak. This is about women’s health care and women having access to health care and making choices with their doctors, and we are working to not allow that to be the distraction.”
There are many reasons why the right-wing of the country has been successful in calling out the professional class at traditional media outlets for being “fake news.” That reason is that most of them are right-wing hacks at heart.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.