The daily White House press briefing is supposed to provide an opportunity for the media to get information about the administration and inquire about matters of consequence to the public. Unfortunately, some reporters often seem more interested in contriving “gotcha” questions and trying to stump the press secretary.
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Peter Doocy of Fox News is perhaps the most prominent example of a partisan shill who thinks it’s his job to manufacture political melodrama. His line of questioning is almost always focused on trivialities and serves as a diversion from serious matters.
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On Friday Doocy seemed to get himself stuck in a loop wherein he wouldn’t stop asking the same question over and over. And despite Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre answering it clearly the first time, it didn’t stop Doocy from flinging it back at here as if he was a dog playing fetch.
The subject on Doocy’s mind was a report that protesters showed up outside of Morten’s Restaurant in Washington, D.C. after learning that Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was dining there. This act of exercising the First Amendment apparently offended Doocy and resulted in the following exchange (video below):
Doocy: It’s okay if a justice is out to eat at a restaurant, that they can go and protest as long as they are what you consider peaceful?
Jean-Pierre: We have said that we want to see peaceful protests. That’s what we have said. We want to see the protests be peaceful. But when it comes to intimidation, that is something that we have condemned.
Jean-Pierre repeated several times that the administration condemns any intimidation or violence, and that the difference between that and peaceful protests is clear. She also noted that President Biden recently signed bipartisan legislation to protect justices.
Undaunted, Doocy kept rehashing the same question in slightly different forms. He already knew what the answer was, so his only purpose was to badger Jean-Pierre and score points with his viewers and his bosses at Fox news. He regurgitated…
“So where’s the line? If these protesters can go to a justice’s house, and they can go to a restaurant, where is it that you don’t think it’s appropriate for a group of protesters to go?”
“Really? So these justices, because protesters do not agree with an opinion that they’ve signed onto, have no right to privacy, is what you’re saying?”
“Is that creating a potentially really bad situation when there are people, even if they’re being peaceful at the time, they’re angry. And that’s why they would be there, right?”
Doocy is suggesting that there are only certain public places where it’s “appropriate” to protest. Perhaps he’d like to confine protesters to garbage dumps outside of town. Although you have to wonder if Doocy would approve of protesting at women’s health clinics and harassing their patients. And why does Fox News consider it “appropriate” for protesters (aka violent insurrectionists) to break into Congress and threaten its members.
RELATED: Jon Stewart Nails It: The Supreme Court is Now the Fox News of Justice
It is also ironic that Doocy introduces the concept of “privacy” in this context, since that’s the Constitutional right that Kavanaugh and his radical rightist colleagues took a way with their irrational decision reversing Roe vs Wade.
Finally, Doocy is very concerned that protesters might be angry. Because obviously you should only be allowed to protest things that make you happy. And his complaint about “potentially really bad situations … even if they’re being peaceful,” is another assault on the Constitution that violates the standard of prior constraint.
Jean-Pierre exhibited profound patience with Doocy’s relentless inquisition. And while she eventually told him that “I’m done here, Peter,” she should have cut him off sooner. His childish antics should not be tolerated. They are irrelevant to the important matters that need to be discussed, and they just waste everyone’s time.
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Fox News’ Peter Doocy questioned whether protesters are violating SCOTUS justices’ 'right to privacy' by showing up at restaurants.
Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre made clear there is a difference between peaceful protests and intimidation. pic.twitter.com/FJE4BHtEeR
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) July 8, 2022
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