We learned the good news this week that White House press secretary Jen Psaki was leaving the administration. Word broke that she had been negotiating for a job at MSNBC’s streaming platform. Previously, she had worked at CNN. The news that this unqualified and incompetent member of the Biden administration was leaving warmed the heart of many conservatives. But members of the media started raising serious concerns.
It had been revealed that her “agent” was working on the particulars of her new job. Now that it’s known she will be leaving the White House for a job with a private company, there poses the threat of a conflict of interest. You see, she’s still working for the White House. She won’t leave until May. How do we know she won’t show special treatment to MSNBC, while still inside the administration? Peeved reporters raised these questions, calling for her immediate resignation.
But Psaki should not stay on as White House press secretary one moment longer if she’s planning to go to a news organization that covers the administration. And several members of the White House press corps, to their credit, held Psaki’s feet to the fire on Friday when news broke of her plan to join the liberal network in May…
O’Keefe correctly followed: “Just because this has been raised by our colleagues, by people who are observing this process, is it ethical for you to continue to be conducting this job while negotiating with a media outlet?” […]
“Jen, given the reports that have been confirmed by multiple media outlets, how can you continue to be an effective briefer if you do in fact have plans to join a media outlet?” NBC News’s Kristen Welker also asked of Psaki…
The press secretary again answered by not answering. “I have taken the ethics legal requirements to the highest very seriously. Any discussions and any considerations about any future employment, just as any White House official would. I have taken steps beyond that to ensure there’s no conflicts,” she responded. [Source: The Hill]
It seems like fellow members of the media didn’t appreciate Psaki leveraging her job as White House Spox to get a cushy job with MSNBC. They didn’t let her off the hook, repeatedly calling into question her ethical standards. Welker hit her again, saying, “Is it ethical to have these conversations with media outlets while you continue to have a job standing behind that podium?”
Psaki had no answer to any of these questions, only further deepening her hole. Her refusal to simply step aside, now, suggests she is in fact using her role in the White House to score this job. In fact, the DNC is actually fundraising off the news that Psaki is leaving for MSNBC. So, clearly, the powers that be within the party are exploiting Psaki’s position for money.
There’s no question, this is unethical and another stain on the Biden administration. The moment Psaki was considering leaving for another job, she should have disclosed that to her superiors. Biden himself would have had to ask her to step down, so there would be no conflicts. But at this point, I doubt Biden has a say in anything that goes on in that office. And people like Psaki take advantage of that lack of transparency and accountability to cash in.
But at least this time, the media is actually calling her out on it.
Author: Bo Dogan