New York Times pens Psaki puff piece after bad week for the Biden administration

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New York Times pens Psaki puff piece after bad week for the Biden administration

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki received a flattering profile piece from the New York Times after several setbacks for the Biden administrati

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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki received a flattering profile piece from the New York Times after several setbacks for the Biden administration.

On Friday, the New York Times published an article titled “Bully Pulpit No More: Jen Psaki’s Turn at the Lectern” by Michael Grynbaum. Along with describing Psaki’s past experience, the piece repeatedly referred to her as “straightforward” and “professional.”

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“Crisp and precise in her answers, even if she does not always respond directly to a reporter’s questions, Ms. Psaki, in her speaking style, is a contrast to Mr. Biden and his circuitous folksiness. In interviews, Washington correspondents often used the word ‘professional’ — high praise in D.C. — to describe interactions with her, deeming her straightforward, detail-dense briefings a relief after an era when Mr. Trump’s press secretaries repeatedly insulted, denigrated and frequently ignored journalists,” Grynbaum wrote.

The piece also highlighted the “cult of Psaki” that emerged as “an unlikely cultural force” for liberals against conservatives.

“But a cult of Psaki has proliferated online, where clips of her restrained, if occasionally withering exchanges with reporters have established this once obscure political strategist as an unlikely cultural force. Her retorts earn ‘yas queen’ praise from liberals, while conservatives jeer her attempts at spin, particularly over the past month, when the confluence of the withdrawal from Afghanistan, extreme weather and coronavirus confusion meant the questions were more pointed and the answers more scrutinized,” Grynbaum wrote.

One example included Psaki’s response to a religious reporter on the Biden administration’s support of abortion despite President Biden’s Catholic faith.

Psaki responded, saying, “it’s up to a woman to make those decisions with her doctor,” but then called out Jensen for never being pregnant himself. 

“I know you’ve never faced those choices, nor have you ever been pregnant, but for women out there who face those choices, this is an incredibly difficult thing,” she said. “The president believes that right should be respected.”

The article was published the same day as various political setbacks for President Biden. On Friday, it was announced that a recent drone strike in Kabul did not kill any ISIS-K members but instead an aid worker and his family, including seven children.

In addition, the FDA rejected Biden’s recommendations for COVID-19 booster shots for people under 65 and France pulled back their U.S. ambassadors. Images of thousands of migrants stored under a Texas bridge as a result of the border crisis also emerged over the weekend.

Some Twitter users and media observers dismissed the article as a puff piece.

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Psaki did not respond on the record to the New York Times for a comment. She was also not present on Friday to respond to Biden’s ongoing setbacks.

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