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Former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has a new job.
The woman who left the White House to become an analyst at MSNBC has now been promoted to anchor of a new Sunday show “Inside With Jen Psaki” set to premiere on March 19, The New York Times reported.
“Now she’ll take charge of an hourlong program on a Biden-friendly network, mixing policy and political discussions with lighter fare like human-interest profiles of politicians, celebrities, and athletes. (One of her dream guests: Joe Burrow, the quarterback of her husband’s hometown Cincinnati Bengals.),” the report said.
“Ms. Psaki, who began appearing on MSNBC as an analyst in September, is the latest in a line of White House communicators — including George Stephanopoulos, Diane Sawyer, and Dana Perino — who have left government for the more glamorous and better remunerated world of TV news,” it said.
“I am not going on television to be a mouthpiece,” Psaki, whose career has been centered on being a television mouthpiece, said.
“I’m very conscious of the fact that people know who I am because I was standing behind a podium speaking on behalf of Joe Biden,” she said.
“I am not going to gratuitously attack him, nor am I going to gratuitously applaud him,” the anchor said. “If he deserves applause, I will applaud him. If he deserves critique, I will critique him.”
As an example of what she would critique about President Biden, Psaki pointed to how the White House has handled his classified documents scandal.
“I certainly was critical of the way things were handled around the sharing of information about the documents,” she said, before quickly defending the White House.
“At the same time, there can be a tendency to make it into a five-alarm fire — like, everything is a disaster! My tendency is to provide context when needed,” she said.
Psaki was ordered in September to provide testimony, along with Dr. Anthony Fauci and current White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, in a case regarding alleged censorship of users by big tech platforms.
However, in January, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans blocked an attempt by GOP attorneys general to depose her in a lawsuit filed against the Biden administration that alleges collusion with big tech to censor and ban certain users.
First filed by then-Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who is now a U.S. senator, as well as Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry in May, the suit claimed that administration officials coerced or colluded with social media platforms to “suppress disfavored speakers, viewpoints, and content” with “dis-information,” “mis-information,” and “mal-information” labels.
U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty of the Western District of Louisiana denied Psaki’s request to dismiss her subpoena to testify, but the three-judge appeals panel ruled that the lower court judge failed to sufficiently consider established legal principles that limit current or former Executive Branch officials’ depositions to essential circumstances, Politico reported, adding:
The attorneys general and several private individuals have argued that Psaki’s statements about encouraging social media firms to take down misinformation about the coronavirus and about election fraud are grounds to subject her to questioning, but the appeals judges sharply disagreed. The 5th Circuit panel also suggested that in the absence of evidence that Psaki herself was interacting with the social media firms or dictating policy, there was little reason to demand her testimony.
“The plaintiffs argue that a deposition is required in order to, among other things, illuminate the meaning of these statements. Much of this desired illumination, though, is apparent from the record,” Judges Edith Clement, Leslie Southwick and Stephen Higginson wrote in their joint order. “In a similar vein, the plaintiffs say they need to uncover the identities of government officials and social media platforms mentioned in Psaki’s statements. The record is already replete with such information.
“As Press Secretary, Psaki’s role was to inform the media of the administration’s priorities, not to develop or execute policy,” the appeals judges noted further. “Unsurprisingly, then, the record does not demonstrate that Psaki has unique first-hand knowledge that would justify the extraordinary measure of deposing a high-ranking executive official.”
Clement and Southwick are appointees of President George W. Bush. Higginson was appointed by President Barack Obama, Politico added.
“The central concern of this court is that absent ‘extraordinary circumstances,’ depositions of high government officials should not proceed,” the appeals judges wrote. “That rule is a constant across the decades regardless of who the officials are.”