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The Poynter Institute fawned over outgoing White House press secretary Jen Psaki Thursday, showering the future MSNBC pundit with praise before her last day with the Biden administration.
“Psaki will go down as one of the best to ever hold the title of White House press secretary,” Poynter senior media writer Tom Jones wrote. “Psaki has restored honor, dignity and class to the White House briefing room after four years of Donald Trump press secretaries, who seemed more interested in picking fights and criticizing the media than effectively communicating that administration’s policies and agenda.”
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The Poynter Institute, a nonprofit school for journalists, is also the parent company of PolitiFact, which claims to be a “nonpartisan fact-checking website” despite regularly favoring Democrats.
Jones’ lengthy tribute to Psaki, who is expected to join MSNBC later this year, took a variety of jabs at Trump administration press secretaries throughout the glowing feature bluntly headlined, “Jen Psaki’s legacy? One of the best press secretaries ever.”
Jones wrote that Psaki was “consistently prepared,” “effective in communicating for the president” and “always respectful” of reporters.
The Poynter media writer admitted that many within the industry, including The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple, feel that serving as the president’s spokesperson with the MSNBC gig on the horizon is an “unmistakable conflict of interest,” but immediately defended her for at least taking steps “to avoid such a conflict or to show favoritism.”
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Psaki, who has emerged as a hero of the far-left, has also joked about the supply chain crisis, was mocked for frequently telling reporters she’d “circle back” when faced with tough questions, claimed Biden inherited “no real plan” for a vaccine rollout, regularly refused to comment on scandals involving Hunter Biden, wholeheartedly denounced since-debunked photos of Border Patrol agents allegedly whipping migrants in September 2021 and sparred with reporters from non-liberal outlets.
Poynter’s flattering piece even praised Psaki for showing up to work, something her future MSNBC colleague Rachel Maddow only does on Mondays after scaling back her workload this month.
“Not only was Psaki good at her job, she actually showed up for her job. According to a tweet from The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple, Psaki held 222 briefings as of Tuesday of this week. And that’s in less than 16 months on the job. That’s more than all the Trump press secretaries combined over Trump’s four years in office. Trump’s press secretaries combined for 205 briefings. As I mentioned above, Grisham didn’t have even one official briefing in her eight months on the job,” Jones wrote.
Meanwhile, Poynter’s PolitiFact was accused last year of shielding President Biden and Vice President Harris from criticism over their past rhetoric expressing distrust in the coronavirus vaccine during the Trump administration.
While the Biden administration aggressively pushed Americans to get the vaccine last summer, social media users resurfaced comments made during the 2020 election cycle by the then-Democratic ticket that cast doubt in a vaccine developed under Trump.
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Still, PolitiFact issued a so-called “fact-check” with the headline “Biden, Harris distrusted Trump with COVID-19 vaccines, not the vaccines themselves,” insisting that the clips used in the video were “selectively edited to take the statements out of context.”
PolitiFact was also roasted in November for a poorly aged “fact-check” claiming Kyle Rittenhouse’s firearm possession was illegal that was resurfaced when the charge was dropped.
Psaki will be replaced by principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
Fox News’ Yael Halon and Lindsey Kornick contributed to this report.