The New White House Press Secretary Doesn't Seem to Hate the Press

Illustration for article titled The New White House Press Secretary Doesn't Seem to Hate the Press
Image: Chip Somodevilla (Getty Images)

Jen Psaki, the new White House press secretary under President (!) Joe Biden, has promised to bring truth, transparency and normal syntax to her briefings.

“I have deep respect for the role of a free and independent press,” Psaki said, appearing to speak with reporters Wednesday evening without lying or verbally abusing any of them. “We have a common goal, which is sharing accurate information with the American people.”

Psaki pledged to carry out daily news briefings, an obvious sea change from her many, many predecessors in the previous administration, who routinely went weeks without addressing the public. Former press secretary Stephanie Grisham, in fact, did not hold a single briefing during her 281 day stint in the position and Politico points out that Psaki’s appearance was the first White House news briefing since December 15.

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“There will be times when we see things differently in this room,” Psaki said. “That’s OK. That’s part of our democracy.” Asked how the administration planned to combat disinformation, Psaki offered that one solution would be “accurate information and truth and data.” She didn’t use the phrase “fake news,” nor call the journalists in front of her “the enemy of the people” once.

I’m tempted to fondly look back on some of the greatest hits of press secretaries past, like Sean Spicer lying about the crowd size at his boss’s inauguration and the time he tried to hide in that bush, or Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ sociopathic ability to look truth directly in the face and deny its existence.

But these moments weren’t actually entertaining; they were outlandish and terrifying. I feel almost sick with relief that our four-year reign of embarrassment and hatred is over. I look forward to Psaki’s uneventful briefings and never having to see her in a puffy neon shirt on Dancing With the Stars.

Night blogger at Jezebel

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DISCUSSION

Did anyone ask her about Biden’s inauguration crowd size?

On a more serious note, I do wonder what the ratings were like for Biden’s inauguration. I know I watched.