After our post about the "Jen-and-Peter Show," in which Fox's Peter Doocy is always put in his place, nice and swift-like, by the White House's quick-witted Jen Psaki, today he weirdly went off script. Doocy, usually so slow he's silenced before he knows what hit him, fell out of character, rudely interrupting and arguing with Psaki, and continuing to challenge her after his time was up. Of course she never lost her cool, and was victorious in the end, but it was like managing a belligerent teenager rather than the sassy 3rd-grade school boy we're all used to. Or a Peter Doocy who was trying to change his image. (Didn't work.)
It started with his ridiculously unprofessional (even for Doocy), obviously misleading question. "For how long has the administration been spying on people's Facebook profiles looking for vaccine misinformation?" he asked, referring to yesterday's press briefing, in which she said there were about 12 people responsible for 65% of anti-vax information (see @therecount tweet at the bottom of this post).
Psaki, staying on script, began to answer in her usual, crisp manner that ended with her signature smile: "Well that was quite a loaded and inaccurate question, which I would refute…" But as she tried to continue with a fact-backed answer, an agro Doocy interrupted with, "Inaccurate how?" and then, continuing to speak while she did, uttered an inaudible whine, prompting her to push back with, "Let me finish…"
He then asked her an even more ridiculous question. "Okay, so these 12 people you have on a list, 12 individuals, do they know that someone at the surgeon general's office is going through their profile?" Yes, he did ask that.
"There's no secret list," Psaki said, looking like she's about to laugh her head off. She told him she'd be happy to give him the source for that information. She said her biggest concern is "the number of people who are dying" because of false information about Covid vaccines spreading on social media. Normally this would be enough to silence the Dooce, but he was in rare form.
By (2:19), longer than usual, she pointed to the rest of the reporters, signaling his time was up. Usually this simple act is hilarious in itself, like an exclamation point to a just-dropped Psaki bomb. But this time something went wrong. Rather than shut up and let another reporter take a turn, the relentless Doocy had yet another dumb question, thinking Facebook was run and censored by the White House. Throughout today's derailed episode, Psaki remained poised and unruffled with her always smart and concise answers. But it was a looney departure from the regularly scheduled program.