By almost any measure Jen Psaki has been among the most successful and respected White House Press Secretaries in modern times. Unlike her predecessors in the Trump administration, she has held daily press briefings, her briefings have been thorough and open to a wide range of questions from a wide range of legitimate news outlets, and they have been exceptionally long – generally around an hour if not longer.
One Trump administration press secretary held no press briefings, at least three others were accused of lying to the press on a near-daily basis, as well as being exceptionally disrespectful and antagonistic to the press.
But One America News’ White House correspondent Chanel Rion was outraged with Psaki on Friday, the press secretary’s final briefing before exiting the administration next month.
At the end of the briefing a reporter for Today News Africa, Simon Ateba, “interrupted her and other reporters multiple times in an attempt to get a question in,” as Mediaite reports. “Ateba began shouting her name, asking repeatedly, ‘will you take a question from the back of the room?’”
He “tried interrupting Associated Press reporter Zeke Miller during a question and was ignored by the room and Psaki, but this did not deter Ateba.” He again tried, interrupting ABC News Senior White House Correspondent Mary Bruce, who in frustration responded, “Simon, please stop.”
One America News, which has been labeled a “Pro-Trump ‘propaganda’ channel,” earlier this week admitted there was “no widespread voter fraud,” apparently as part of a settlement with two Georgia election workers who filed a defamation suit against the far right-wing cable network.
Rion Friday afternoon voiced support for Ateba, suggesting without evidence that “80% of the briefing room” has felt Psaki “takes questions from [a] select few.”
Psaki having just told the room she’s grateful for the press’s pushback takes questions from select few:#SimonOteba of Today News Africa says aloud what 80% of the briefing room has felt the entirety of Psaki’s reign.
— Chanel Rion OAN (@ChanelRion) May 13, 2022
Psaki has told reporters during briefings she tries to get to as many reporters as she can. She has called on correspondents from far right-wing outlets, including Fox News daily or almost daily, the Christian right channel Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN,) and Newsmax, to name a few.
Psaki’s parting words to the White House Press Corps: “I want to thank all of you in this room. You have challenged me, you have pushed me, you have debated me and at times we have disagreed. That is democracy in action. That is it working. Without accountability, without debate, government is not as strong.”
On Twitter many criticized Rion:
“Why would she take a question from you? You’re a joke from the circus of lies and conspiracy.”
“Maybe get a job in journalism? Worth lookin’ into.”
“Because OAN is admittedly not a news organization.”
“OAN is not a news organization.”
“Why is OAN even in the room?”
“I think she might be choosing NEWS organizations for questions not propagandists.”
“You are not real news just propaganda. She already calls on the doofus from Fox Entertainment way too often.”