Let’s face it. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to the job. Everyone expects a certain amount of political “duck and cover” or spin from a press secretary, but Jean-Pierre seems to have set new records for avoiding answering the questions from White House reporters. It seems like virtually every important question gets some version of an “I can’t respond to that” answer from Jean-Pierre. She wouldn’t even give a straight answer to the question of how they invented an imaginary daughter of Bill Richardson in Joe Biden’s official condolence statement to the family.
But some of the White House reporters were not happy when they found out about KJP’s Vogue profile, perhaps understandably so. Here was the woman who was constantly evading their questions being feted like a favored celebrity by another liberal media outlet.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre in the September issue of Vogue. This seems like a good time to point out Melania Trump never appeared in Vogue while she was in the White House. pic.twitter.com/UO6kb7rqai
— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) September 7, 2023
Feted by Vogue as “quite disciplined about work, from which she allows few distractions,” Jean-Pierre was also pictured lounging in her office in a rainbow-striped Victor Glemaud dress.
In another glamorous snap, she posed on a balcony of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, gazing off to the distance in a maroon Tove dress and golden Khiry earrings.
The high-fashion shots were accompanied by a profile declaring that Jean-Pierre has “sharpened her own technique: disarm with a smile, then lay out the facts at hand.”
“I’m representing the president, so petty is just not on the menu,” she is quoted saying.
“Disarming smile,” Quite “disciplined about work” and “petty” not on the menu? How much malarkey is being shoveled there?
The article even had White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients lauding Jean-Pierre as “humble” and Jill Biden praising her “grace, integrity, and insight“ as the “pioneering” first gay and black press secretary.
But the White House reporters had a thing or two to say about the profile and KJP, and it doesn’t sound like they were holding back.
“It’s sad that a magazine that purports to be practicing journalism is profiling a press secretary that’s gone out of her way to deliberately silence members of the press corps,” said one veteran White House reporter.
“We shouldn’t be rewarding those who actively obfuscate facts and seek to undermine freedom of the press, which Karine Jean-Pierre and her press office have done on numerous occasions and which the press corps has pushed back against.”
Another said this was more akin to a “Jackie O” profile than coverage of a working staffer who’s supposed to be dealing with the issues. He said he was surprised by “the lack of substance in that piece about the issues that concern the press and most Americans.” He said the problem with KJP was that she didn’t want to answer hard questions from the press.
One White House reporter, who works for a liberal-leaning outlet, questioned whether Jean-Pierre was sending the wrong message about the Biden administration by modeling pricey outfits.
The NY Post noted how they haven’t been called on since July 7, when one of their reporters dared to ask about the cocaine found at the White House and if KJP would definitively deny that it belonged to the Biden family. They also note how the Vogue piece failed to cover a lot of the other game-playing that Jean-Pierre seemed to be doing to try to restrict questions.
KJP says that “irresponsible reporting” is alleging that the cocaine found in the White House might have belonged to the Biden family.
She then goes on to call a journalist in the briefing room “irresponsible” for asking the White House to unequivocally say that the drugs do not… pic.twitter.com/jDesTsGfx3
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) July 7, 2023
But the Vogue piece did report that KJP had separated from former CNN anchor Suzanne Malveaux. Jean-Pierre said she was “co-parenting” as a “single mom.”
I’m glad that we got some honesty about how bad she is in this report from the White House reporters, but the problem is that if they expect any change from Jean-Pierrre, they need to call her out on it more during the briefings and bust her when she engages in evasion. She might still evade, but at least they wouldn’t look like they were just sitting there being led around by the nose and falling for it. The problem is she does it because most of them let her get away with it.