Fox News' Peter Doocy tried to lead the charge in perpetuating the "AMERICANS ARE STRANDED IN AFGHANISTAN" media framework upon which they've now fixated (because successfully airlifting 70,000 people out in 10 days isn't a narrative they care to elevate.) Need I tell you how that worked out for him in Jen Psaki's briefing room?
"I know that you'd said yesterday that it's irresponsible to say that Americans are stranded in Afghanistan right now. What do you say to the American citizen in Kabul that Fox spoke to this morning, she's going by 'Fatima,' she says, 'We ARE stranded at home. For four days, three days, we didn't hear anything from anywhere, and they're saying to go to the airport, but we're not being given clear guidance. Our emails are being ignored.'"
Oh, Fox spoke to "Fatima," did they?
Psaki rose to the challenge. She explained the fluid nature of the number of Americans they know are in Afghanistan, based on who registers and deregisters with the American government when they travel abroad and leave those foreign countries. It is up to them, since the government does not track them. The State Department has been publishing alerts for Americans in Afghanistan for months with information about where to email and call if you need assistance and want to leave, which is also something Americans in Afghanistan been advised to do for months due to concerns about their safety.
THEN, she said, "In recent days, they have reached out to every American citizen registered in Afghanistan directly, multiple times. This is a 24/7 operation. Embassies all over the world are supporting phone banking, text banking, and e-mail efforts. If we are not in touch with this individual, give me their contact information and we will get in touch with them. If any of you are hearing from American citizens who can't reach us, give me their contact information, and we will get in contact with them."
As we've learned, Doocy seems information-averse, so all of this just bounced off him like a tennis ball off a brick apartment building on East 17th Street.
Therefore, he repeated his already answered question, saying, "But you say no Americans are stranded. This is someone in Kabul who says, 'I am stranded.' So is there a better word for somebody who can't leave the house to get to the airport because Jake Sullivan says ISIS is outside the airport? What -- if it’s not 'stranded'?"
Psaki answered, growing impatient, "I would welcome you providing their phone number, and we will reach out to them today."
Baby Doocy, who's brain probably resembles that tennis ball more than I'm allowed to say on Facebook without catching a ban, pivoted to trying to make President Joe Biden look weak.
"And the final question: If the Taliban said that staying past the 31st was going to provoke a reaction, and then President Biden decides, 'Okay, we won't stay,' do they have the same kind of influence over military planning as the Commander-in-Chief?"
Psaki's answer fleshed that out a bit more, including not only fact checks, but withering and unfiltered annoyance the rest of us have felt with Doocy since Day One.
"Well, first of all, Peter, the Taliban's deadline was May 1st -- struck in a deal with the prior administration. The President's timeline was August 31st. That's the timeline he set and a period of time he needed in order to operationalize our departure from Afghanistan," she shot back.
She ended by showing him which administration truly cares about the people serving in our military.
"I'd also note that, as I said -- as we conveyed in the statement -- that our objective and our focus, and the focus of the Commander-in-Chief, is always going to be on the safety and security of the men and women who are serving our country in the military. And that has to be a factor here, and that certainly is a factor for him as he thinks about the timeline."
I hope Psaki is not berating herself for showing impatience. God only knows the rest of us have been ready to drop-kick him into a volcano for seven months.