We saw what good journalism was earlier today, in a question from the AP’s Matt Lee to Biden State Department spokesperson Ned Price.
Price challenged Lee to name any international agreements from the Trump administration that Biden had swept aside, acting as though they hadn’t done that to any of his administration’s agreements. Lee immediately nailed Price with three examples, leaving him a stuttering mess.
But that’s the State Department where they tend to have better reporters.
The ones over at the White House need (with the exception of folks like Peter Doocy and a couple of others) are pretty much a lost cause when it comes to challenging the administration or asking important questions.
Indeed, as one demonstrated today, their concern, it seems, isn’t about holding the Biden team to account but how to properly spin to defend them.
A reporter asks Press Secretary Psaki about Biden’s “door knocking” vaccination efforts getting “picked up in the far-right sphere.” pic.twitter.com/f4Bv0Iyr4W
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) July 7, 2021
A reporter on AF1 today said only the “far-right sphere” is concerned about the government going door-to-door to encourage vaccinations pic.twitter.com/thOP7Xsbid
— Amber Athey (@amber_athey) July 7, 2021
The reporter asked Jen Psaki about her comments that the government would be going “door to door” to “get the remaining Americans vaccinated.” “Yesterday, you talked about door knocking,” the reporter said, “which is a pretty standard thing. And it was picked up in the far-right sphere, as the ‘government is going to come to your door and make you get the vaccine.’” The reporter said she wondered what Pskai’s reaction to that was and how that might affect the thinking of people who are hesitant to get vaccinated.
Nice way to serve up a softball to help Psaki remediate the comments from yesterday. But Psaki said what she said. It is an effort by the government to “make you get the vaccine” and she couldn’t even deny that today. For this reporter to suggest that it’s a “pretty standard thing” to have the federal government going door to door to get people vaccinated across the country is gaslighting us. I have never seen that before in my lifetime, nor has anyone else, I would imagine, so don’t act like this is something that is “standard” or normal. It is not. We’re seeing the federal government getting involved with something that has, in the past, been a decision between a person and their doctor. The reporter is also trying to deflect by painting concerns as “far-right” as though people across the spectrum wouldn’t be concerned. And of course, “far-right” equals bad to this unbiased reporter.
Psaki claims “it’s up to the individual” whether to get it or not, they’re only trying to inform people. But obviously, you don’t really think that if you’re still going to people’s doors to try to convince them.
What’s the point of this effort at this point? Unless someone has been hiding out in a cave, everyone knows where they can get a vaccine if they want it. It isn’t due to lack of available information. When you have the government going to your door, you create the opposite effect, if a person is already hesitant to get it.