MSNBC’s Psaki, Vitali Find Haley Attacks Against Trump ‘Unsatisfying’

January 23rd, 2024 12:10 AM

We are at the stage of the electoral cycle wherein drive-bys openly express their dissatisfaction at the insufficiency of an attack levied against a Republican- in this case, former President Donald Trump.

Watch as Psaki and Vitali commiserate over their dissatisfaction at Nikki Haley’s attacks on former President Trump, as aired on MSNBC’s Inside with Jen Psaki on Monday, January 22nd, 2024:

JEN PSAKI: So, Ali, let's start with you, because you interviewed Governor Haley today. She had some interesting things to say. Let's play a clip of that and we can talk about it on the other end.

ALI VITALI: In your stump speech you often say that chaos follows Trump, fairly or unfairly. What’s an example of fair chaos that has followed the former president? 

NIKKI HALEY: Oh. I mean, look at his Twitter at any point in time. Look at the fact he feeds off of chaos. Like, he creates it by, you know, going on temper tantrums, or creating rants, or saying things that he shouldn't say that we don't want dictators to hear. He creates that chaos. 

PSAKI: It’s kind of an unsatisfying attack line. Just putting my cards on the table here. But what else did she have to say during your interview?

VITALI: Well, the other half of that, right? Because in her stump speech she says he's chaotic, fairly or unfairly. There's the fair stuff. The unfair stuff, she says, are the politically-minded cases that he is defending in court. Some of them, anyway. She points out Manhattan, for example. But that’s a pretty unsatisfying answer, too. And I think the thing that we are seeing consistently with Nikki Haley is a lot of these key issues, especially those that relate to Trump, she really does find a way to be on both sides of them. Be it January 6th, the cases, the chaos. Even the things that she brings up, she’s bringing up with an “I’m sorry” on the mental fitness front, or, she’s doing it kind of out of both sides of her mouth.

Is it the role of a Republican presidential candidate to “satisfy” these Democrat apparatchiks with an attack on the GOP frontrunner? It would seem so, given Vitali and Psaki’s response to what Haley was putting forth.  

First, it was ABC’s Mary Bruce getting after Vice President Kamala Harris. “What are you guys waiting for?”, she demanded of the vice president. 

Now, we get the former Biden White House Press Secretary and an NBC News political reporter echoing that line of argument. And in both cases, Trump is the intended target of these “unsatisfactory” attacks. 

You never hear about such insufficiencies when covering campaigns against incumbent Democrats. It is at that point, precisely, that the journalists go from decrying the insufficiency of the attacks to decrying the attacks as disinformation. The naked partisanship is right there, on full display.

I don’t know what Psaki and Vitali were expecting from Haley, given that she is still competing in a (nominally) contested GOP primary. But such is the state of modern news analysis.