April 5, 2022

Same Lies, Different Gig for Jen Psaki

The White House press secretary is moving on to greener, less stressful pastures.

We take no joy in reporting that Jen Psaki, the dissembling redhead with the commercial-grade mop and bucket, will one day soon handle her last clean-up on Aisle 6. After that, Joe Biden’s teller of tall tales will head off to MSNBC as the latest talkinghead to go from the White House communications team to cable news punditry.

As The Wall Street Journal reports: “White House press secretary Jen Psaki plans to leave the administration this spring and is in exclusive talks to join MSNBC, where she is expected to host a show for the streaming service operated by network parent NBCUniversal, according to people familiar with the discussions.”

At a Saturday rally in Michigan, Donald Trump took a swipe at the network’s hard-left tilt while suggesting that Psaki might be a quota hire. “You know she’s going to MSDNC, you know that, right?” Trump said. “They need a redhead! They don’t have a redhead over there so they need a redhead.”

Psaki, though, who has distinguished herself as a yarn-spinner of the first order, is trying to play it cool. At Friday’s press briefing, she neither confirmed nor denied those reports. “You can’t get rid of me yet,” she told the first reporter to ask about her departure. “I have nothing to confirm about my length of public service or planned service … my focus every day continues to be speaking on behalf of the president.”

As Joe Biden’s Minister of Truth, his changer of poopy diapers, Psaki has been misleading the American people about everything from her boss’s disastrous handling of Afghanistan to the administration’s missteps on COVID-19 to its insistence that Biden’s $3.5 trillion Build Back Better boondoggle didn’t actually cost anything to Old Joe’s repeated gaffes on the war in Ukraine. Frankly, if you can imagine the story, it’s likely that Biden has said something stupid about it.

Psaki has thus turned obfuscation into an art form, and it’s unlikely that her replacement will be anywhere near as good at it. Still, this is what White House talkingheads do, both Democrat and Republican: They endure the enmity of a hostile press, enhance their profile, then jump ship to a less demanding and more lucrative field. What’s interesting here is that Psaki doesn’t seem at all bullish on the future of the industry she’s hopping to, cable news. Last month, during a podcast interview with actor Rob Lowe, she said, “So I’m going to give you an optimistic view on this right now, which is — cable news is dying, right? … The ratings are dwindling, right?”

It speaks volumes about the job she’s leaving, though, if she’s willing to leap to a dying industry in order to get away from it.

We’re not sure who’ll replace Psaki, but Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, Communications Director Kate Bedingfield, and Pentagon spokesman John Kirby are likely on the shortlist. In any case, Psaki’s successor had better get used to schlepping around a mighty big mop and bucket.

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