Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, has been in the position for two months, and several of the reporters she works with on a daily basis gave their opinions of how she has handled the highly visible and notoriously challenging position.
According to Fox News, the left-leaning press praised her predecessor Jen Psaki widely and offered her cable news opportunities. One White House reporter even admitted under anonymity that they were frightened to argue with Psaki for fear of coming across as an “a—hole.”
Since Politico’s West Wing Playbook reported last month that Jean-Pierre had experienced unforced stumbles and private grumbles from reporters as a result of her propensity to stick to the binder and deliver talking points rather than engage in extemporaneous back-and-forth with the press, things haven’t been as sunny for her.
“If your M.O. is going to be reading prepared answers, you should have a lot of prepared answers so that you’re not just deferring to reporters constantly,” a current White House reporter told Fox News Digital.”She is poorly received as she isn’t taking time to answer questions or banter with reporters on the issues of the day,” another White House reporter said.
“A press secretary has to share some information, kind of a give and take, but she just doesn’t appear willing to do that yet… Too often, she is telling reporters that she ‘has nothing from the podium’ to say, which is a waste of everyone’s time.”
In addition, Jean-Pierre has drawn criticism for occasionally coming across as ignorant, which is a sin against press secretaries, as when she failed to recall a passage from President Biden’s recent speech from May that discussed his application to the Naval Academy.
When questioned about a particular, significant news story on multiple occasions, she has admitted ignorance of it. She was also unaware that President Biden had recently had direct contact with Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, who is COVID-positive, on June 1.
Even in what might seem to be friendlier settings, Jean-Pierre has faced challenges. For example, when CNN host Don Lemon questioned Vice President Biden about his endurance before the 2024 election, a subject that is becoming more and more important for Democrats, Jean-shocked Pierre’s response made headlines.
“Don, you’re asking me this question! Oh my gosh!” she said. “He’s the President of the United States… That is not a question that we should be even asking. Just look at the work he does. And look how he’s delivering for the American public.”