So The New White House Press Secretary’s Pledge To Bring “Truth And Transparency Back To The Briefing Room” Lasts One Day!

Jen Psaki

In her very first press conference, new Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that when Joe Biden asked her to do the job, they talked of the “importance of bringing truth and transparency back to the briefing room.” Later she added, “If the president were standing with me here today, he would say he works for the American, I work for him, so I also work for the American people. So his objective and his commitment is to bring transparency and truth back to government, to share the truth even when it is hard to hear, and that is something I hope to deliver on as well.”

What a nice speech! And I would be shocked if a single member of the press corps didn’t know it was utter, complete, transparent bull shit. It did give various news sources an opening for another cheap shot against President Trump, because HIS press secretaries were always spinning and obfuscating. Not Jen! SHE worked for an honest President, so she will always be honest.

This was a stupid, stupid thing for Psaki to say. As Ethics Alarms has noted through two administrations and seven Presidential mouthpieces, these are paid liars. That’s their job. It’s a somewhat easier job when the news media is devoted to giving the boss a pass, as it was with Obama and now again with Biden, but even then, press secretaries are seldom transparent and often untruthful. All of them. In fact, Psaki was lying when she said she was going to be transparent and truthful, so she broke her pledge on Day One.

Day Two, however, was hilarious, or cruel, or perfect, depending on your orientation.

The new President violated his very first executive order requiring masks and social distancing on federal property almost immediately after signing it yesterday, appearing on camera maskless as he crowded in for pictures with his similarly unmasked family at the Lincoln Memorial. The celebrities who spoke and performed for Biden’s inaugural festivities also violated the mandate. The whole throng of reporters at Psaki’s press briefing would have been all over a Trump spokesperson over such blatant hypocrisy, but today, it was up to the Fox News reporter Peter Doocy (See? There is a reason for Fox News’ existence!) to challenge Biden’s press secretary to live up to her pledge.

Doocy asked, during today’s press conference, “Why weren’t President Biden and all members of the Biden family masked at all times on federal lands last night if he signed an executive order that mandates masks on federal lands at all times?”

Now, a truthful and transparent answer to that question would have been something like, “What can I say, Peter? The President screwed up. He obviously should not have done that, or allowed his family or others to violate an order he had just signed. This doesn’t engender trust in the seriousness of our efforts to contain the pandemic, and too many elected officials across the country, mayors and governors and others, have given the impression that ‘laws are for the little people,’ and they can break their own rules, because they are special. That’s wrong, and equally wrong for Presidents. I’m sure President Biden regrets this mistake.”

Nah. Why be truthful and transparent when you can avoid answering the question by changing the subject?

“I think… he was celebrating an evening, a historic day in our country,” Psaki replied, “And certainly he signed the mask mandate because it’s a way to send a message to the American public about the importance of wearing masks, how it can save tens of thousands of lives.”

But..but… Jen! How does violating his own mask mandate send that message? Doesn’t doing that send the opposite message? Jen?

The White House press secretary continued to deflect, saying that the administration takes “a number of COVID precautions” and listed a some, saying, “I don’t know that I have more for you on it than that.”

So the President didn’t wear a mask because…his administration takes precautions?

“But as Joe Biden often talks about, it is not just important the example of power, but the power of our example,” Doocy aksed. “Was that a good example for people who were watching who might not pay attention normally?”

“Well… I think the power of his example is also the message he sends by signing 25 executive orders including almost half of them related to COVID,” Psaki responded “Yesterday was a historic moment in our history, he was inaugurated as president of the United States, he was surrounded by his family—we take a number of precautions, but I think we have bigger issues to worry about at this moment in time.”

Huh? The president didn’t wear a mask because he signed other executive orders besides the one he ignored? I know you are being transparent, Jen, but that makes no sense whatsoever. And did you really just say that obeying pandemic safety rules aren’t as important as celebrating?

Here’s a gratis ethics tip for the new press secretary. Don’t make promises you can’t keep for at least 24 hours. Don’t pretend you’re better than any other flack that has had your job. And don’t insult the public’s intelligence by pretending your responsibility is to tell the truth, or that your boss is any more committed to “transparency” than any other President. You’re a paid liar. You know it, the news media knows it, and I know it. The best you can do is to avoid being a ridiculous paid liar.

You are not off to a good start.

28 thoughts on “So The New White House Press Secretary’s Pledge To Bring “Truth And Transparency Back To The Briefing Room” Lasts One Day!

  1. This is the bigger demonstration of male bovine excrement: “I think we have bigger issues to worry about at this moment in time.”

    The government and every fucking pundit in the mainstream media, Fauci, and mask enforcer fascist has been demanding the use of masks at all times everywhere, and punishing those who don’t wear them. She just stated that mask wearing is not that important.

    Oh, and who saw a maskless Joe Biden signing more executive orders today? And was Lady Jen wearing a mask during the presser?

    jvb

    • I can’t imagine why he would do that. Surely, he only put the tracker up in the first place to keep his audience informed as to how many deaths there’ve been. Have people stopped dying of the virus?

      Or maybe he removed it because of the vaccine? Well…the vaccine has been around for a little over a month now so why didn’t he remove it when the vaccine was released?

      Since he removed it within the last couple of days, is there anything significant that happened within the last two days that made Anderson Cooper think that emphasizing the number of virus deaths was no longer necessary?

      What could it possibly be?

      • What could it be? Hmmmmmm . . . .

        I dunno. Ocasio-Cortez didn’t attend the Inauguration because she is afraid of Republicans and the mean Maryland Representative brought a nasty, mean, awful, and scary gun to D.C. and tried to sneak it into the Hallowed Halls of Congress.

        Maybe Cooper should put up a Death from Mean Gun Tally. That would be cool, though he would probably ignore deaths in certain areas because, well, that would be awkward.

        jvb

    • Yes it will, but not for Psaki. I give her a year. First of all: for a flack, that gig is a great stepping stone towards making real money but the job itself is horrible. Most press secretaries move on within 18 months. Second, Psaki built a track record as an untrustworthy hack back when she was the spokesperson at State during the Obama admin – even Wolf Blitzer pinned her ears back at least once. Third – there’s just something smarmy and unpleasant about her on-camera persona. She’s sorta like that kid in junior high school that everybody hated but had to be nice to because her daddy owned half the town.

      I can only think of three recent press secretaries I really respected. I liked Kaylee McEnany, largely because she gave back to the press as good as she got. She may have been a liar, but she wasn’t afraid to remind the reporters that they were, too, and she always came in loaded for bear. That’s something that should have happened long ago. The late Tony Snow did a great job, and the fact that he was a former member of the press corps himself led a lot of reporters to go more lightly on him than they otherwise would for a Republican press secretary. And Ari Fleischer was phenomenal in the job – calm, measured, never lost his temper, and had an amazing command of facts and was REALLY quick on his feet.

      Psaki will be gone soon enough.

      • Those three were excellent, and I think you should include Mike McCurry, Clinton’s spokesperson during Monica Madness, who managed to juggle being the flack for a liar and also showing a preference for directness while not treating his listeners like gullible fools.

      • That much is probably true. This job eats the people who hold it. But, when she leaves, to take a job in the private sector making in a month what most of us make in a year, she’ll just be replaced by another lying hack, and another one after that. If Harris gives a presser I wonder if she will tell the reporters “I’m speaking,” and “you NEVER interrupt when a black woman is speaking”

      • I have met Jen and Maria Harf on a few occasions over the years starting back when Kerry ran. Jen Psaki like Susan Rice seems to be able to survive nearly anything.

  2. Jack wrote, “Psaki will be gone soon enough.”

    True that if for no other reason than her constant uttering of “uh” between words while she speaks, it’s unprofessional and it’ll drive people nuts.

  3. She should have just stated the truth. The main theme of this administration will be “Laws are for little people”. The second theme will be “Executive orders are laws”.

    • OK, I reread what she said. I am not sure she lied. She definitely wasn’t transparent, but I don’t think she lied. If it is important, the rules don’t matter is what she said. That is pretty close to “Laws are for little people”. She said Joe Biden is important and those people were doing important things. That isn’t lying, that is stating an uncomfortable truth for Republicans and an ordained truth for Democrats.

      • You’re right. She wasn’t lying, she was rationalizing and making excuses. Essentially, what it boiled down to was, “He worked hard all day, this was a special night and he has more important things to do than following his own rules”.

        • BUT YOU… are EVIL if you want to gather and celebrate with YOUR family for YOUR historic events!

          YOU are bad and evil… we are not.

          Stupid ass double standards.

          Can’t stand her… she’s so condescending. At least Kayleigh was nice and deflected more honestly haha.

  4. There an easy answer, and shame on her for not thinking of it:

    The executive order provides a limited exception for speakers addressing an audience to remove their masks to aid comprehension for those with hearing disabilities, provided appropriate social distancing could be maintained.

    (I have no idea if the EO is written well enough to include such an exception, but certainly she could have said that to avoid making herself and the new president look like fools.)

    • That’s because, as our host pointed out in his “It’s a Wonderful Life” ethics project, dishonest people often resort to dishonesty to achieve they could done just as easily through honest means (i.e. Mr. Potter keeping the Building and Loan money to force George out of business as opposed to rightfully reporting George’s negligence in keeping Uncle Billy – a man who would forgetfully hand the depositors’ money over in a newspaper – as an employee).

      Joe Biden didn’t wear a mask because he didn’t want to and very likely decided he didn’t need to. Jen had to explain that away and she did so very badly, giving the impression that Joe is just another high-ranking Democrat who’s happy to enforce rules for everyone else, but not observe them himself.

      • But remember, if you are the only person within a square mile in a national park, you have to wear a mask. “Believe the science”.

        I tried to find if there was an exemption of Biden’s order for people who live on federal property. Did he really require that people (like soldiers or the Biden family) who live on federal property have to wear a mask 24 hours/day? The 25,000+ National Guard members weren’t wearing masks. However, yesterday a Democratic Congressman saw a Guardsman not wearing a mask in the Dunkin’ Donuts and demanded the removal of all the troops from the Capitol. So, the Guardsmen had to sleep in the parking garage last night. Apparently, the new administration is unable to provide all these troops with bathroom facilities or food, in addition to not having accommodations for them.

  5. Jen Psaki? Boy, is this the Restoration of the Obama administration or what? Aren’t there any new hacks around D.C? Where’s Obama’s office going to be? Will his title be President Emeritus?

    • Obama said Michelle would kill him if he got involved. That said, this was always about getting the band back together. It’s already better, because CNN took the COVID death ticker down. We don’t need it anymore. Watch the bad news magically disappear from the TV and the internet.

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