July 2, 2021

We have the Psaki Bomb, and then we have the Doocy Dunk, which is a subset of the Psaki Bomb. Or, for you scientific types, we could call the Doocy Dunk a species within the Psaki Bomb genus. Today's involved Peter Doocy pretending not to know the difference between a slogan ("Defund the Police") — coined by people traumatized and brutalized by state-sanctioned, armed oppressors — and a solution to police brutality (decreasing police budgets.)

Doocy asked Jen Psaki in today's briefing for "clarification." "Hoping to clarify the administration's position here on defunding the police. You say the president does not want to defund the police. Is the president concerned, then, that last year the now Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta said it was, quote, 'critical for state and local leaders to heed calls from Black Lives Matter and Movement 4 Black Lives activists to decrease police budgets?'"

Psaki could have said, "Does your tiny brain truly understand nothing about the difference between sloganeering and solutions that work?" or "How about just once you try to ask a question that ISN'T riddled with intellectual dishonesty?" But she didn't. She handed him his a$$ in a much more professional manner.

"Well, let me first say that, as a Fox News report that came about in February quoted, quote, 'current police chiefs in more than 53 cities across the country, as well as the National Fraternal Order of Police, are assuring their support of the nomination of Vanita Gupta, President Biden's nominee for Associate Attorney General, praising her leadership and record, and urging the Senate Judiciary Committee to quickly confirm her to the post.' I don't know that that was your report or not, but it was certainly one from your network."

Sigh. She's so good at this. She may as well have asked him how many more ways will his network show that they are not, and have never been the one that supports police?

*I* may as well ask, how how racist is he and his network show? He's going after a prominent Woman of Color for having urged Congress to listen to the marginalized groups (Black and brown people,) who are deeply, historically oppressed by the police, for trying to find ways to better spend the money that is currently spent militarizing the nations police forces? Because THAT is what decreasing police budgets would do. THAT is at the heart of cries to "Defund the Police."

Doocy tried to recover, saying, "But she said, okay, so that's the Fox report, thank you, in Senate testimony she said that she wanted to decrease police budgets, so..."

"She also made it explicitly clear in her confirmation process that she opposes defunding the police. And the president ran on, most importantly, did not run on defunding the police. He's always opposed defunding the police," Psaki said, shutting down his line of questioning right away.

"Defund the Police" is a set of words that has a variety of meanings and purposes, depending on the context and the speaker. It's the role of people with racial and societal privilege to do some actual work to determine those contexts. When some people cry out for defunding the police, they may mean a complete end to the carceral state, and literal disbanding all police forces, starting with entirely new groups set up to ensure the safety of all members of society, not just the white ones. When others call for it, they might be calling for reducing police budgets and investing that money into social workers, teachers, after-school programs, and prisoner re-entry programs to reduce recidivism rates.

We all know, though, that no one at Fox News (or any Republican fascist authoritarian, for that matter) will ever lift a finger or exert a brain cell attempting to figure out context. And you CAN be damn sure that when anyone from Fox News utters the words "Defund the Police," it's a hypocritical, racist dog whistle.

Can you help us out?

For 18 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.