When the name Karine Jean-Pierre was first mentioned on Ethics Alarms (here, Item 4), it was after the lead-in, “Biden’s not even trying to be responsible at this point.” Her major qualification to take over the press secretary job—aka “Pofficial paid liar”— from the unbearable Jen Psaki, it seemed, was that Jean-Pierre is a black lesbian, which White House flacks (echoed by the mainstream media of course, boot-licking as usual) hailed as “historic.” (My reaction, then and now: who cares?) She also has a major conflict of interest, being married to CNN correspondent Suzanne Malveaux. Later, after non-bootlicking reporters did some digging, we learned that she has been a habitual race-baiter. The New York Post reported that between 2015 and 2020 the new voice of the White House had accused people, policies, ideas, or words of being “racist” 57 times on Twitter and 43 times in TV appearances on CNN and MSNBC.
To be fair, being a knee-jerk race-baiter is a valid qualification for being a Democratic President’s press secretary in 2022.
However, the main objective in appointing Jean-Pierre, as with any job, has to be that she be able to do it competently. That means lie, which is what people in her position do and have done since the role came into being. The job is easier now that it has been for many past occupants of the position, because, as already noted, most of the reporters likely to toss questions at a Democrat President’s paid liar aren’t seeking the truth, and nearly completely unwilling to make her boss look bad. (That might risk his losing re-election, which, we are told daily, would endanger democracy.)
So I just assumed that this historic black lesbian race-baiting Democrat was at least skilled at ducking, weaving, spinning, and otherwise lying her head off to explain this President’s regular fantasies, falsehoods, inexplicable babbling unintentional damning admissions and never-ending policy failures.
Here was her exchange yesterday with Fox News’ Peter Doocy:
DOOCY: “The president’s Twitter account posted the other day if you wanna bring down inflation, let’s make sure the wealthiest corporations pay their fair share. How does raising taxes on corporations reduce inflation?” [The exact tweet was, as he clarified for Jean-Pierre, “You want to bring down inflation? Let’s make sure the wealthiest corporations pay their fair share.”]
JEAN-PIERRE: “Look, we have talked about, um, we have talked about this past year, about making sure that the wealthiest among us are paying their fair share, and that is important to do. That is something the president has been working on everyday when we talk about inflation and lowering costs, so it’s very important that as we’re seeing costs rise, as we’re talking about how to, you know, build an America that’s equal for everyone and doesn’t leave anyone behind, that is an important part of that as well.”
DOOCY: “But how does raising taxes on corporations lower the cost of gas, the cost of a used car, the cost of food for everyday Americans?”
JEAN-PIERRE: “So I think we encourage those who have done very well, especially those who care about climate change, to support a fairer tax code that doesn’t charge manufacturers workers, cops, builders a higher percentage of their earnings, that the most fortunate people in our nation, and not let that stand in the way of reducing energy costs and fighting an existential problem if you think about it, that is an example. To support basic collective bargaining rights as well. But look, by not, without, having a fairer tax code, which is what I’m talking about, then all, like, manufacture workers, cops, you know, it’s not fair for them to have to pay higher taxes than the folks who are not paying taxes at al.”
DOOCY: “But what does that have to do with inflation? The President said if you want to bring down inflation let’s make sure the wealthiest corporations pay their fair share. Jeff Bezos came out and tweeted about that, he said ‘the newly created disinformation board should review this tweet.’ Would you be okay with that?”
JEAN-PIERRE: “Look, it’s not a huge mystery why one of the wealthiest individuals on earth, right, opposes an economic agenda that is for the middle class, that cuts some of the biggest costs families face, fights inflation for the long haul, right, and that’s what we’re talking about, that’s why we’re talking about lowering inflation here, and adds to the historic deficit reduction the president is achieving by asking the richest taxpayers and corporations to pay their fair share. That’s what we’re talking about.”
Maybe she should be Vice-President Harris’s press secretary.
I think we can all agree that Jean-Pierre’s performance here was spectacularly terrible, and objectively incompetent. One obvious requirement of the job is to prepare for likely questions. Presidential tweets that make no sense are obvious targets, especially after the Trump Tweets years. She wasn’t ready for that question from Doocy, and delivered a “huminahumina” response for the ages.
Furthermore, this isn’t a job that is hard to vet. Auditions and simulations will quickly reveal if a candidate is up to it or not. Wasn’t she tested, drilled, and trained? Wouldn’t it become quickly obvious that she was neither skilled at throwing up dust (like Psaki) nor sufficiently articulate and creative to weave momentarily credible explanations for Biden nonsense to handle the job?
Even giving her the benefit of many doubts—she was nervous, this was her first day on the job, Biden’s tweet was unusually fatuous, even for whatever Cub Scout is charged with pretending to be the President on social media—that was a performance of signature significance. No competent White House spokesperson delivers bad lying like that, even once. Climate change? Collective bargaining?
I thought President Trump made the worst appointments and hires of any President in my lifetime, but at least he had the excuse that his available talent pool was small, once 90% of the competent, experienced Washington hands had been bullied and intimidated out of giving an elected President of the United States the assistance he desperately needed (and that the nation needed him to have). Trump’s first two press secretaries were inept, especially Sean Spicer, but not this inept.
Moreover, how can Biden get rid of a “historic” black, lesbian woman whose first line of defense has been to cry “Racist!”? No President has ever needed a dazzling spokesperson more than Biden right now, and yet he (or his puppet-masters) appointed someone with no relevant skills whatsoever. How could this happen?
It’s almost as if they really believe that race, gender and sexual orientation are the most important qualifications for demanding jobs.