Jen Psaki

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It's refreshing to get these daily briefings again and Jen Psaki is a seasoned pro, she's truthful, upfront and not afraid to take any questions. Also, Republicans seem to hate her (because you know, telling the American people what their government is doing every day is outrageous) so she checks all the right boxes.
 

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She sure seems to be doing a great job.

Just curious, though... Is this something exceptional, or does it just look like that when compared to the press briefings of the Trump administration? What was it like before that? Did you guys have sensible press briefings back then?
 
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She sure seems to be doing a great job.

Just curious, though... Is this something exceptional, or does it just look like that when compared to the press briefings of the Trump administration? What was it like before that? Did you guys have sensible press briefings back then?
Yes, she also reads and takes notes which she's been criticized for already. Republicans like that shoot from the hip without knowing that the hell your talking about... Trump suggesting we drink bleach, for example.

Prior to Trump both sides have always had regular press briefings and even when Bush had them it was nothing like the Trump years, we may have disagreed with what he was doing but at least they briefed us regularly.
 

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She sure seems to be doing a great job.

Just curious, though... Is this something exceptional, or does it just look like that when compared to the press briefings of the Trump administration? What was it like before that? Did you guys have sensible press briefings back then?

It all depends on what you mean by "back then". I lived through Watergate and the briefings offered up by Nixon's super-loyalist press secretary, the late Ron Ziegler. He was rarely in the room when discussions of how to cover up the coverup of the coverup etc. took place. And Nixon's decisions were becoming more impulsive and their public descriptions were reworked by advisors as time went on, not only with respect to Watergate but any other business of the executive branch as well.

No one trusted anyone else in Nixon's circle by 1973 and 1974, much less clue in the hapless Ziegler on anything, so most of the time he was out there without a safety net, knowing far less than the reporters did about, for example, what was going on in prosecution of the Vietnam War. Hence assorted woefully quotable quotes...

“The president is aware of what is going on in Southeast Asia,” Ziegler said memorably in 1971, when asked if American and South Vietnamese forces were preparing to invade Laos. “That is not to say anything is going on in Southeast Asia.”

So Ziegler was usually just riffing while the White House press corps merrily dissected (or totally dismembered) his offerings. He even got a tongue in cheek prize one year from the National Council on Teachers of English...

Ziegler’s New York Times obituary noted how one particularly convoluted 1974 statement about the custody of Nixon’s White House tapes even won him an award from the Committee on Public Doublespeak of the National Council of Teachers of English: “I would feel that most of the conversations that took place in those areas of the White House that did have the recording system would, in almost their entirety, be in existence, but the special prosecutor, the court, and, I think, the American people are sufficiently familiar with the recording system to know where the recording devices existed, and to know the situation in terms of the recording process, but I feel, although the process has not been undertaken yet in preparation of the material to abide by the court decision, really, what the answer to that question is.”

source

 

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I haven't seen her in action yet. Re: prior to Trump, they were definitely more professional, but I also feel there was a great deal of word salad and deflection on hard questions. I hope with Biden there's a good deal of hard to hear, but still true, information being shared.
 

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Yes, she also reads and takes notes which she's been criticized for already. Republicans like that shoot from the hip without knowing that the hell your talking about... Trump suggesting we drink bleach, for example.

Prior to Trump both sides have always had regular press briefings and even when Bush had them it was nothing like the Trump years, we may have disagreed with what he was doing but at least they briefed us regularly.
Not to mention, she ain‘t blonde.

And as repeatedly been pointed out on MR, Trump never said ‘drink bleach’. In fact, he never said bleach at all. He said disinfectant. Completely different! :LOL:
 

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I enjoy her Q&A with the press, this despite the fact that half of her answers consist of, "I'm not sure, I'll have to get that information for you."

First off, she's new at the job, Biden's only been on the job himself two weeks, so not everybody will know everything right away. It's refreshing to hear an honest answer of "I don't know," or a referral to another agency, instead of Trump's never-ending line of blonde bullshit artists outright lying, avoiding answers or even turning questions around so as to attack the press.

To hear her treat the press (and by extension us) as intelligent adults, and to hear Biden say that he's going to share all the fact with us, bad as well as good...it's a complete 180 from Trump. It makes you realize how much his press interviews were akin to those of good old Baghdad Bob.
 

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I enjoy her Q&A with the press, this despite the fact that half of her answers consist of, "I'm not sure, I'll have to get that information for you."

First off, she's new at the job, Biden's only been on the job himself two weeks, so not everybody will know everything right away. It's refreshing to hear an honest answer of "I don't know," or a referral to another agency, instead of Trump's never-ending line of blonde bullshit artists outright lying, avoiding answers or even turning questions around so as to attack the press.

To hear her treat the press (and by extension us) as intelligent adults, and to hear Biden say that he's going to share all the fact with us, bad as well as good...it's a complete 180 from Trump. It makes you realize how much his press interviews were akin to those of good old Baghdad Bob.
Sounds good. Has she managed to follow up so far? Getting the information for them I mean?
 

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That I don’t know. How would you even track that kind of information? You’d have to be in contact with various reporters.
 

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That I don’t know. How would you even track that kind of information? You’d have to be in contact with various reporters.
Not sure, that’s why I’m asking. :D

I guess the most convenient indicator will be the reporters‘ future questions. If they stay content with "I'm not sure, I'll have to get that information for you." then Jen is probably doing a great job following up.

Time will tell. Very good impression so far at least.
 

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There’s already a video of her going around stating “I’ll have to circle back to that for you.” I suspect she is, indeed, circling back to get the promised answers.
 
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There’s already a video of her going around stating “I’ll have to circle back to that for you.” I suspect she is, indeed, circling back to get the promised answers.
I suspect that as well, she actually takes notes and has prepared statements. I know that's not a standard Republican tactic but why not be as prepared as possible. Also, if that's all they got on her right now she's doing great.
 

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There’s already a video of her going around stating “I’ll have to circle back to that for you.” I suspect she is, indeed, circling back to get the promised answers.
She is night and day different better as compared to the poor tortured puppets before her dancing on Donny’s poison splattering strings.
 
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lizkat

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I watched her last night on Maddow. She's wonderful. She's been in this business for a long time and really knows her shit.

She does indeed. This column today in the WaPo made me really happy. I do remember when the press briefings closed only after a wire service reporter looked around the room to make sure no one else still had a burning desire to ask a question and then gave the "ok to shut it down signal" which was to thank the briefer by name.


White House press secretary Jen Psaki ended Tuesday’s press briefing with a quick exchange: “Thank you, Jen,” said Josh Boak, a White House reporter for the Associated Press. “Great,” replied Psaki. Then she put on her mask and headed out.

Those four words signaled the resurrection of an old White House briefing room tradition — observed under both Democratic and Republican administrations — in which the press secretary awaits the nod of the attending AP reporter before closing the book. (The privilege was initially assigned to the senior wire correspondent, but it eventually turned into an exclusively AP role.) Whereas her predecessor, Kayleigh McEnany, often ended briefings with scripted attacks on the media, Psaki has embraced a custom that accords the media a voice in the management of the briefing room.
 

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I enjoy her Q&A with the press, this despite the fact that half of her answers consist of, "I'm not sure, I'll have to get that information for you."

First off, she's new at the job, Biden's only been on the job himself two weeks, so not everybody will know everything right away. It's refreshing to hear an honest answer of "I don't know," or a referral to another agency, instead of Trump's never-ending line of blonde bullshit artists outright lying, avoiding answers or even turning questions around so as to attack the press.

To hear her treat the press (and by extension us) as intelligent adults, and to hear Biden say that he's going to share all the fact with us, bad as well as good...it's a complete 180 from Trump. It makes you realize how much his press interviews were akin to those of good old Baghdad Bob.

When I started teaching, I remember the sound advice one of the professors gave me.

He said that if asked something I couldn't immediately answer by a student in class, I should not be afraid to admit that I didn't know the answer, (rather than pretending that I did, although he didn't actually say this), - because you couldn't be expected to know everything about a subject matter, even if you were reasonably expert in the area - and that the students would accept this pretty readily (they did), but that I should then add a comment to the effect, "I'll get back to you on that".

And this allowed you to do so, - it both bought time, and allowed for accuracy - to check and confirm source material, and it also allowed you to return to class a week or so later armed with the appropriate answer.

And - paradoxically - it made you more credible as a source, if you did this. And more confident when dealing with questioners, because you could feel free to admit limits of (and gaps in, which such questions allowed you to identify) your own knowledge.

I must say that I found this advice incredibly liberating - and incredibly helpful - both when teaching, and later, when delivering briefings.
 
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