Politics - News Analysis

Jen Psaki Snaps Back at Newsmax’s Emerald Robinson: ‘Emerald, I Know You Like to Shout…’

The hardest job in the White House is the presidency. A very good argument can be made that the second hardest job in the White House belongs to the press secretary.

A press secretary cannot lie, no matter what Kayleigh, Sarah, etc. believed. They can bend the truth in their favor, they can focus on the more positive side of things, but at the end of the day, the best reporters in the world are likely to get an answer to some very uncomfortable questions. It is considerably easier dealing with some of the less talented in the room. With some, it’s easiest to not deal with them at all.

Take the case of Emerald Robinson. Emerald’s technique is to include her own answer, which includes her spin, within the question. Appropriately, Jen probably figures that given Emerald knows the answer to her “question,” there is no point in calling on her. It has led to the point where Emerald has started shouting her questions at the end, a significant breach of protocol, significant enough for Psaki to snap at Emerald in an attempt to shut Emeral down.

Psaki addressed the treatment of Haitian immigrants as the briefing ended:

PSAKI: “I don’t think anyone could look at those photos and think that was appropriate action or behavior or something that should be accepted within our administration. There’s an investigation. That’s ongoing. We’ll let that play out. But our reaction to the photos has not changed.”

According to Mediaite, it is a tradition that the AP reporter signals the end of the briefing by saying “Thank you, Jen.”

And then it happened:

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Robinson tried to sneak in a question about President Joe Biden’s falling approval ratings in an exchange that was included in the official White House transcript:

MS. PSAKI: Thank you, everyone.

Q Thank you, Jen.

Q I have a question. On the polling — the President’s polling continues to collapse —

MS. PSAKI: Emerald, I know you like to shout at the end. Next time, we’ll do it during the briefing.

Q Well, if you’d call on me —

MS. PSAKI: Thanks, everyone.

Q — I wouldn’t, along with a lot of other people, Jen.

MS. PSAKI: Thank you so much.

According to Mediaite, an organization far more familiar with presidential briefings than those of us at this site, there had never been shouting at the end of press secretary briefings, but of late, it’s gotten quite common. Next time, Emerald, next time…


[email protected] and on Twitter @JasonMiciak

meet the author

Jason Miciak is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is originally from Canada but grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He now enjoys life as a single dad, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast, getting advice from his beloved daughter and teammate. He is very much the dreamy mystic that cannot add and loves dogs more than most people. He also likes studying cooking, theoretical physics, cosmology, and quantum mechanics. He likes pizza.


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