OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre gave her opinion on the idea of Fox News losing its license during a recent podcast and it made some waves.
In an interview with SiriusXM host Dean Obeidallah set to air on Monday the liberal host asked her if Fox News should forfeit the ability to broadcast news because it “lies” to its audience in his opinion.
“Look, the FCC the way the law is right now, it does not cover cable news. We all know that. Broadcast news, though. It does. It, it’s called distortion. And it has to be you have to show that they said something false on purpose they knew was false and they could be sanctioned. They can lose their license on a network. It doesn’t apply to cable,” the host said, Mediaite reported.
“Do you think there’s any chance to explore the idea of expanding that, it would take an act of Congress, to expand the FCC’s mandate to include, just apply that, what that already applies to CBS and ABC and FOX on network to cable equally. It would apply to everyone, if (inaudible) did same thing that we know Fox did. Because if not, why would Fox not just keep lying to the American public without any consequence? I don’t know why they would stop this,” he said.
“So, look, I have to be careful. FCC is an independent agency, so we need to be careful here. But I get your point,” the White House Press Secretary correctly said, before hinting at her disdain for Fox News.
“You know, look, I think everybody has a responsibility, if you call yourself a news organization, to tell the truth, you know, and I mean, that’s probably as far as I can go. I think when you ask me about Fox, and I think that’s I think the question that I got on MSNBC with Alex was close enough to that,” she said.
“But to the question that you did, you just you just asked me. And in the best way that I can answer it is even Fox News leadership, in their depositions say, as we as I was being asked about the Tucker Carlson show, that it’s not news or truthful. And I think that tells you everything that you need to know. I mean, when the when the leadership is saying that, I think that tells you everything that you need to know and I’ll just leave it there,” she said.
It came on the same weekend that she had her feet held to the fire by an unlikely opponent in MSNBC host Chris Hayes.
She appeared on his primetime show on Friday when Hayes grilled her on the rumor that President Joe Biden’s administration was going to start detaining families at the border again to assist in scaling back the border crisis prior to the 2024 presidential election.
“There were reports that the White House was considering – or the Department Homeland Security was considering – reintroducing the practice of family detention,” the host said, as he mentioned that this “was harshly criticized” by Biden was campaigning against former President Donald Trump. “Is it true that that’s being considered?”
Jean-Pierre could have chosen to crush the rumor right there, but she danced around it.
“So, what I want to be very clear here – and I’ve answered this question as you know, Chris, many times in the briefing room, and we as an administration have as well – we are not gonna certainly comment on rumors or conversations that are out there that people are reporting on,” the White House press secretary said. “Those are rumors. What we are going to promise is that we’re going to do this – we’re going to move forward with a, with this kind of systems, immigration system, that has been gutted, really, truly gutted by the last administration.”
But Hayes pressed her.
“Just to follow up on that,” the host said. “I think if I said, ‘Are you gonna do child separation again?’ you’d say, ‘No, we’re not gonna do child separation,’ right? I mean, so it just seems like you could say like, ‘We’re not gonna do family detention.’ But you’re not saying that, which is fine as far as it goes, but I just want to be clear.”
But she again avoided giving a straight answer to the question.
“I think what you’re asking me, Chris, is to speak to rumors that are out there,” the press secretary said.
“And that is not something that we’re going to speak to any rumored conversation,” she said. “The moment that I talk about rumors or conversations that are out there, then it opens up a whole other conversation. So just wanna be mindful of that.”