Jen Psaki did another great job handling Fox News Peter Doocy’s gotcha question, in this case, concern trolling over why President Joe Biden and family were not masked “at all times on federal lands” during the inauguration ceremony.
As COVID-19 continues to rage through the country, a legit reporter, as opposed to a propaganda pusher, would be concerned about people refusing to wear masks, not looking for ways to trip up a press secretary and make Biden look bad. After all, if Fox really cared about mask wearing or consistency, it would have explained why host Laura Ingraham wore one to a Trump rally, despite her repeated attacks on mask wearing on her own Fox show.
Also, Biden’s mask mandate allows for “heads of agencies” to “make categorical or case-by-case exceptions.” I suspect that participating in an inaugural celebration with family, who probably all observe the same safe COVID-19 practices, would qualify for a brief exception. I also suspect Doocy never read the mandate.
But there he was yesterday, asking a question that has no purpose other than to provide fodder for right-wing media and social media.
DOOCY: Why weren’t President Biden and all members of the Biden family masked at all times on federal lands last night, if he signed an executive order that mandates masks on federal lands at all times?
PSAKI: At the Inaugural –-
DOOCY: At the Lincoln Memorial. Yes.
PSAKI: I think, Steve [sic, Steve Doocy is Peter’s father], he was celebrating an evening of a historic day in our country. And certainly he signed the mask mandate because it’s a way to send a message to the American public about the importance of wearing masks, how it can save tens of thousands of lives.
We take a number of COVID precautions, as you know here, in terms of testing, social distancing, mask wearing ourselves, as we do every single day. But I don’t know that I have more for you on it than that.
DOOCY: But as Joe Biden often talks about, it is not just important. the “example of power” but the “power of our example.” Was that a good example for people who are watching who might not pay attention normally?
PSAKI: Well, Steve, I think the power of his example is also the message he sends by signing 25 executive orders, including almost half of them related to COVID; the requirements that we’re all under every single day here to ensure we’re sending that message to the public.
Yesterday was a historic moment in our history. He was inaugurated as president of the United States. He was surrounded by his family. We take a number of precautions, but I don’t think — I think we have big — bigger issues to worry about at this moment in time.
I am glad to see Psaki engaging with Doocy and putting him in his place. This is what needs to happen with Fox at every opportunity.
You can watch it below, from Psaki's January 21, 2021 press briefing.