LAME: Journo Asks KJP to Defend NPR After Twitter Labels It ‘State-Affiliated Media’

April 5th, 2023 7:07 PM

Tuesday was a banner day for liberals and their media allies as not only did they see former President Trump arrested and arraigned in New York on 34 charges, but they flipped the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the far-left candidate won the Chicago mayoral runoff. But some still ended the day infuriated as Twitter chose to label National Public Radio (NPR) as “U.S. state-affiliated media.” As such, it came up at Wednesday’s White House press briefing.

Marek Wałkuski of Polskie Radio — which is NPR’s equivalent of state-run media in Poland — bemoaned to Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre that the designation placed NPR “in the same category as Russia Today or Chinese media.”



Asked to comment, Jean-Pierre rushed to NPR’s defense, gushing that “there’s no doubt of the independence of NPR’s journalists and has been — if you’ve ever been on the receiving end of their — of their questions, you know this.”

She continued with the gag-tastic takes: “You know that they have their independence in journalism. NPR journalists work digitally [sic] to hold public officials accountable and inform the American people. The hard-hitting, independence nature of their coverage speaks — speaks for itself and so I’ll leave it there.”

At the other end of the spectrum, Fox’s Peter Doocy did his thing in pushing Jean-Pierre, starting with this: “[D]oes it bug President Biden when former presidents suck up all the oxygen?”

When she insisted “[w]hat’s important” to Biden is “focus[ing] on the American people,” Doocy followed up by questioning whether that meant it’s “good to lay low for a few news cycles”.

Jean-Pierre’s went on a winding trail, saying in part she’d “speak to the fact that this is a President who has been able to get historic pieces of legislation done.”

Doocy briefly pivoted to Taiwan in light of their president’s U.S. visit: “[I]f China tries to takeover Taiwan, is President Biden still committed to putting U.S. boots on the ground in Taiwan?”

Jean-Pierre wouldn’t even engage because “we’ve answered this question multiple times.”

Doocy wrapped by holding the administration to account on the Chinese spy balloon in light of NBC’s reporting that the Chinese did, in fact, gather intelligence on U.S. military installations (click “expand”):

DOOCY: And then on the China spycraft, why did President Biden say about the China spycraft in February, “we were able to protect sensitive sites against collection” if that’s not true?

JEAN-PIERRE: I’m not going to go into — dive into any reporting. That’s not something I’m going to do. I’m not going to confirm any reporting. Look, we knew the flight —

DOOCY: It’s not reporting. The DNI said today that the U.S. does not appear to have provided critical new insights into the People’s Republic of China. So, is it they didn’t provide any new critical insights or they didn’t get anything?

JEAN-PIERRE: I would refer you to the ODNI if you have specific questions on their reporting. What I can tell you from here and what we have said many times is that we knew the flight path of the balloon before it crossed the United States. We took precautions in advance to ensure that it didn’t get sensitive information and when it — when it — when it comes to technology, like this balloon, it has limited additive value compared to other means of intelligent collection. And we have said that and the — and the bottom line is this is an administration that identified the problem and took action.

Real Clear Politics’s Philip Wegmann also brought questions other reporters weren’t asking. First, he sought comment on whether Biden would agree with former Vice President Mike Pence, who “said that if the shooter who killed six people in that Christian school in TN was motivated by a hatred toward Christians should be categorized as a hate crime.”

Jean-Pierre refused to wade in, claiming “[i]t’s not for us to decide.”

Wegmann’s second question concerned his home state’s governor, Eric Holcomb of Indiana, signing into a law a bill “bann[ing] puberty blockers, hormone therapies, and gender transition surgeries for minors” and whether Biden has “position on at what age these kinds of therapies and surgeries are appropriate.”

Jean-Pierre replied such decisions are “for a child and their parents” with trans people being “some of the bravest people he knows.”

Back in the liberal category, NBC’s Mike Memoli expressed concern that Biden’s wildly successful initiatives have been out of the spotlight because of Trump and theGrio’s Gerren Keith Gaynor teed up Jean-Pierre to attack Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) (click “expand”):

MEMOLI: You mentioned the President traveled to Minnesota this week. He had a meeting yesterday on artificial intelligence. You said he’s looking forward to this trip to Ireland as well. In any other news environment, these might be stories that are really driving both national and local headlines. But as the questions that you’ve got yesterday indicate, there’s one other story really dominating the news right now. Can you talk about the White House’s strategy to make sure the President’s message is getting through to the American people. And the president — the former President’s legal troubles are likely not to go away at all this year, is there concern that this will take away from the President’s ability to communicate that message this year?


GAYNOR: On Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signing a concealed — permitless concealed weapon law, I know you released a statement, does the White House feel that when laws like this are passed as states like Florida that it undermines the work he’s doing to address the nation’s gun epidemic?

To see the relevant transcript from April 5's briefing (including a question from CBS’s Ed O’Keefe about who’d pay for Biden family members traveling to Ireland on Air Force One), click here.