With briefings on Thursday, Friday, Monday, and Tuesday, the ever-inept Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has had a lot of camera time as of late and the liberal media came at her with questions of substance and activism. Most notably, they’ve hit her from the left on the D.C. crime bill, Florida and Texas addressing the Biden border crisis, illegal immigration, Tennessee passing legislation to protect children from graphic sexual content, and Tucker Carlson.
Thankfully, others showed up with questions about the anti-cop riot in Atlanta, energy independence, green technology hypocrisy, government surveillance, and Russian sanctions.
Below are the five worst and then the five best questions from the last four briefings. Each category is presented in chronological order.
1. March 2 — AP’s Zeke Miller Laments Biden Forcing “His Wisdom & Judgment” on D.C. Residents
Thursday and Friday were dominated by White House reporters thrashing Jean-Pierre from the left over President Biden’s support for a bipartisan vote of disapproval to trash Washington D.C.’s far-left rewrite of their criminal code that would lower punishments for everything from gun charges to sex crimes.
The AP’s Zeke Miller’s back-and-forth encapsulated what many of his colleagues would ask. Miller began Thursday’s briefing by lamenting that, since Biden “has spoken a bit about his support for D.C. statehood in the past, but, you know, why does he believe that he should step in...where the residents of D.C.’s elected representatives, you know, pass these changes” and “why does he believe...he should substitute his wisdom and judgment for theirs.”
In a follow-up, Miller kvetched: “[T]he President believes that every city should have the right to self-government except...if he disagrees with the outcomes of their — of their governing process?”
He followed up with not a question but a statement: “Just another stab at this because the principle of the matter — the President is making a principled statement that he supports a city self-governing...and then, he’s...trying to overturn...their governing.”
2. March 2 — Bloomberg’s Justin Sink Whines Biden Is Going Nanny State on Nanny State D.C.
Sink followed Miller with more grievances: “So, is the principle here that the President believes in self-rule and autonomy, except if he believes that D.C. is passing laws that would leave its residents not safe in some way?”
When Jean-Pierre tried to explain this was something at Biden’s desk whether he wanted it or not and since it was going to be (prior to Monday’s withdrawal), he had to weigh in and did so through the lens of keeping Americans safe.
Sink wasn’t having it: “But it matters more than the self-governance issue...Either ‘you can make decisions for yourself’ or ‘I will make decisions for you that I believe are in your best interest.’”
3. March 3 — ABC’s Ejiochi Bemoans ‘Anti-LGBTQ’ Bills in TN on Drag Shows, ‘Gender-Affirming Care’
With Cecilia Vega off to CBS and MaryAlice Parks on maternity leave, correspondent Ike Ejiochi has been surfacing in the Briefing Room and he’s thus far tried to become some cross between Jim Acosta and April Ryan.
On Friday, he fretted that Tennessee Governor Bill Lee (R) had “signed two anti-LGBTQ bills into law on Thursday: one that bans many drag performances from taking place on public property, another bans most gender-affirming care to transgender youth.”
“What does the White House make of these laws? And is there anything you can do or planning to do about these laws,” he asked.
Jean-Pierre replied that “[t]he American people are focused on so many issues” such as crime, inflation, and the economy, but Republican have shown their hypocrisy by “think[ing] that freedom of speech only extends to people who agree with them” despite “espous[ing] freedom and liberty”.
After she tied opposition to the sexualization of children to LGBTQ people suffering from abuse and mental illnesses, Ejiochi followed up with another softball: “And what’s your message to the LGBTQ youth in the state, as well as drag performers? What’s your message to them?”
4. March 6 — NPR Reporter Pleads for Help on FL, TX Measures to Put Americans First
NPR reporter Deepa Shivaram came Monday with questions like Ejiochi’s from Friday about conservative proposals she was seeking condemnatory comments from the White House on.
This time, it was immigration as there are “efforts in Republican states, like Florida and Texas, where they’re cracking down on undocumented immigrants” with a Sunshine State proposal to “requir[e] private companies to do more to check the immigration status of their employees” and the Lonestar State’s idea of “deny[ing] undocumented children access to public education unless the federal government pays for it.”
5. March 7 — Ejiochi Tees Up KJP to Scoff at Tucker Carlson’s ‘Cherrypicked’ Jan. 6 Video
Ejiochi had another liberal priority Tuesday to serve up to Jean-Pierre in the form of attacking Fox News (because there are fewer things that get them more energized):
Last night, Tucker Carlson cherrypicked video surveillance from the January 6 insurrection, severely downplaying the events of that day. He said the mob was orderly and meek and that they were tourists instead of insurrectionists. What's your response to Carlson and also to Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who granted him access to that video?
Umm, isn’t “cherrypick[ing]” what the news media do on a daily basis?
1. March 6 — Doocy Calls Out Biden Choosing End of ‘Fossil Fuels’ Over ‘Energy Security’
Also on Monday, Fox’s Peter Doocy started Doocy Time with a simple premise: “I have a question about the Willow project in Alaska. What’s more important to President Biden: improving energy security or reducing fossil fuels?”
Jean-Pierre replied that “it doesn’t have to be one or the other,” giving Doocy the chance to drop the hammer: “Well, he said in 2019, ‘I guarantee you, we’re going to end fossil fuel.’ So, this project will just be dead, right?”
Jean-Pierre refused to engage, instead saying Biden had met “with the Alaska delegation last week at the White House” to hear “their concerns.”
2. March 6 — KJP Ducks Ryan Grim’s Question on the Feds Spying on a Member of Congress
The Intercept’s Ryan Grim made a rare appearance in the Briefing Room Monday and drew a Biden documents-like answer of referral to the Justice Department with this question:
So, last week, the Department of Justice acknowledged that in 2020 they’d used — the FBI had used 702 authorities to illegally spy on a member of Congress. Can you tell us who that member of Congress was? Has that member of Congress been briefed by the White House?
Sounds like a big deal!
3. Washington Examiner Calls Out ‘Deforestation,’ ‘High Pollution’ in Electric Truck Biden Touted
Washington Examiner White House correspondent Christian Datoc snuck in a question on Monday and, like Grim, he had a non-answer to this question about a Bloomberg report that found an electric pickup truck backed by President Biden was “built from metal that is damaging the Amazon”:
There was a report last week about how Ford’s F-150 Lightning — their electric EV truck — is contributing to high pollution and deforestation in the Amazon. Does President Biden regret endorsing that truck back in 2021? And has anyone talked to Ford about how they should source aluminum for the frame from a different mine?
4. March 6 — Al-Jazeera Reporter Stumps KJP on Anti-Cop Atlanta Riot
Al-Jazeera’s Kimberly Halkett merely sought a White House comment on the anti-cop riot of more than 100 people targeting the future site of an Atlanta Police Department training facility.
Halkett first asked if Biden was “aware of this” and, if so, was “the White House worried about this escalating.”
Jean-Pierre was completely unaware, “What — say that again. What was the protest?”
Halkett explained further, but it would be to no avail:
The protest was — it’s a facility, a training facility that’s being constructed for police officers. It’s called Cop City. It’s near a Black residential area. The protesters are concerned that this is going to lead to escalation of police militarization. There have been 23 that have been charged with domestic terrorism, but there were 35 people arrested. So the concern is, is the Wh — is the President aware of this? Is the White House concerned about this escalating? And then, I also had a follow-up. The Georgia attorney general has said that some of the people that have been arrested were from outside of the United States — from Canada, from France, from an international group — that were here just to undermine American public safety, so is the White House tracking this? And how worried is the White House about this?
5. March 6 — NY Post’s Nelson Questions Lack of Sanctions for Russians Tied to Hunter
Speaking of declining to comment and playing dumb, Jean-Pierre employed this strategy when the New York Post’s Steven Nelson brought up the fact that two Russian billionaires with ties to Hunter Biden have avoided U.S. sanctions:
And regarding Russia’s sanctions, I’m wondering if you could share the reason why President Biden hasn’t sanctioned the Russian billionaires Vladimir Yevtushenkov and Yelena Baturina. How — how is he handling the conflict of interest there, given his son was a business associate of these two people? And can you confirm that, as sitting Vice President, he dined with Baturina in Georgetown?
To see the relevant transcripts from the March 2, 3, 6, and 7 briefings (including more questions, good and bad), click here (for March 2), here (for March 3), here (for March 6), and here (for March 7).