Politics - News Analysis

Jen Psaki’s Final Briefing Goes Out With a Bang as Reporter Heckles Her and Won’t Be Quiet, ‘Please Stop!’

It should have been a good day.

Yes, there are very serious issues out there and reporters had every right to ask the Biden administration about the baby formula recall, Ukraine, the border, abortion rights, inflation, all the things making huge news around the country (so much of it out of their control)  but knowing it was Psaki’s last briefing there should have been even more respect in the back and forth than usual. Despite beliefs to the contrary, most press briefings are just that, total professionalism back and forth.

But Peter Doocy is going to Doocy on occasion. Not today, indeed he was all class in a picture taken with Jen at the end:

But as to the angry fireworks, those came from some people who we believe were called upon quite often, and reported as much. From Mediaite:

As Psaki delivered her final briefing and bid her goodbyes to reporters and colleagues, Today News Africa’s Simon Ateba began shouting her name, asking repeatedly, “will you take a question from the back of the room?”

He began shouting as soon as Associated Press reporter Zeke Miller started asking the first question of the briefing. He was ignored by the room and Psaki, but was not deterred.

Ateba interrupted again when an ABC reporter attempted to ask a question. Demanding that his question be taken. That got a rebuke from Psaki:

“Simon, if you could respect your colleagues and other media reporters in here, that would be greatly appreciated. Go ahead, Mary.

And yet it didn’t stop there:

“If you can spread the questions from across the room and all of us at the back of the room —” he said before an unidentified individual repeatedly says, “not today. Not today.”

Simon Ateba is the chief White House correspondent for Today News Africa.
Simon Ateba/Twitter

There is nothing wrong with having video posted of the exchange but Mediaite notes that OAN’s Chanel Rion, who has had problems making the grade to even be in the White House press room in the past posted the video.

That is normal for any administration and Rion knows it. The 80% (It’s more like half) go to the big American Companies, NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, NYT, WaPo, etc, and that is going to take up a lot of time. It also covers the widest segment of the American population to get the facts they need. We know that Psaki called on Simone fairly often because we reported on the exchanges, most fairly probing, the type that upset other people.

And Psaki spread questions around. She likely didn’t ask Rion a question (or very seldom) because Rion doesn’t ask questions she makes statements and then asks for a response.

Psaki walks out for the last time…she will be missed.

Regardless. it is too bad that there was that much friction during Psaki’s last day. But the picture with Peter was classy and nice of both of them. Yes, Doocy would be ridiculous at least two to three times a week but does recognize when it’s time to put the frustrations away and be happy for someone you’ve worked with.



[email protected], @JasonMiciak, with Nicole Hickman

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 raising a ridiculously-loved young girl on the beaches of the Gulf Coast. He is very much the dreamy mystic, a day without learning is a day not lived. He is passionate about his flower pots and studies philosophical science, religion, and non-mathematical principles of theoretical physics. Dogs, pizza, and love are proof that God exists. "Above all else, love one another."


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