CNN’s Brian Stelter’s widely panned interview of White House press secretary Jen Psaki was mocked by critics on both sides of the political aisle, but one media watchdog oddly called it “insightful.”
Stelter asked Psaki, who was a colleague of Stelter’s as a CNN commentator during the Trump era, if she fears Republicans will ruin the country before their children grow up. The liberal “Reliable Sources” host also asked his former co-worker what the media does wrong and if she has made progress “defeating the lies,” all while avoiding questions about Biden’s ongoing border crisis, as well as the White House’s continued trust in chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci in light of his email controversy.
IN INTERVIEW PANNED AS ‘BOOTLICKING,’ CNN’S STELTER ASKS JEN PSAKI TO TELL HIM WHAT THE MEDIA ‘GETS WRONG’
Journalist Glenn Greenwald called it “one of the most sycophantic interviews of a state official you’ll ever see” and suggested it was exactly how state TV functions, while Fox News contributor Joe Concha pointed out that even Psaki herself looked uncomfortable with the softballs Stelter lobbed.
Stelter himself admitted that he was attacked from both sides for the interview, prompting far-left media critic Oliver Willis to rip the CNN host for a “classic dodge.”
However, Poynter Institute senior media writer Tom Jones was a big fan of the extremely friendly chat and even described it as “insightful.” Jones provided a link to the much-ridiculed segment and encouraged readers to check it out for themselves.
Jones’ Poynter Report newsletter didn’t mention any of the criticism Stelter faced for the Psaki interview, but he did manage to compliment the CNN host for asking why President Biden hasn’t conducted more press conferences.
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“White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked that very good question by Brian Stelter on Sunday’s ‘Reliable Sources.’ Her answer, however, was not quite as good,” Jones wrote. “Psaki’s answer to Stelter seemed to suggest that Biden is available to the media, but that is not true. He has been seen, but not really available to answer questions in a substantive way.”
While it could be seen as odd that Jones criticized Psaki’s answer but still feels the interview was “insightful,” the Poynter senior media writer stands by his claim. Jones doubled down when asked why he felt the interview was insightful despite widespread backlash from all corners of the media industry.
“As I wrote in my newsletter, ‘It’s good insight into what it has been like for Psaki to be press secretary,’” Jones told Fox News.
Ironically, the Poynter Institute aims to “prepare journalists worldwide to hold powerful people accountable,” but some feel students should study the Stelter-Psaki interview because it was the opposite of insightful.
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“I’m not using hyperbole when I say the ‘interview’ that @brianstelter did with Jen Psaki yesterday should be studied in journalism school. It’s one of the most sycophantic interviews of a state official you’ll ever see. This is how state TV functions,” Greenwald wrote to accompany video of the CNN host seeking advice from the Biden flack.
Psaki is one of many members of the mainstream media who ditched the Fourth Estate to work for the Biden administration. She left CNN to become a senior adviser for the Biden-Harris transition team and was eventually named press secretary.