You know, I was right in the middle of writing this post about what a stupid son of a b*tch Peter Doocy is when, wouldn't you know it, I had to stop and write a post about our president saying the very same thing into a microphone in front of the entire White House Press Corps. Way to steal my thunder, Joe.
I'm not worried, though, there are plenty of angles from which Doocy's questions in the briefing room are not only stupid, but disingenuous and outright false in their framing. His obsession with mask mandates for students is a great example. Yesterday, he asked Jen Psaki the following:
"In Virginia, seven districts, representing 350,000 students, are suing the state. They're hoping to get a strict mask mandate for students that's been rolled back by the new governor reinstated. So, who does the president thinks knows best for students? School board members or parents?"
See, right there, the framing is completely misleading. During a pandemic, the question of who knows best for students is not limited to parents and school board members. This is a matter of public health, and the people who know best about public health are doctors and scientists, the CDC, infectious disease experts, etc. For Doocy to set up the question in a way that completely leaves them out of the equation is misleading and completely twisted framing.
Of course, Jen Psaki understands that, and doesn't let him control the narrative in that way.
"The president believes that public health officials have the best guidance on what we can all do to protect ourselves including teachers, administrators, and students," she answered. "Here's what we know from public health officials, who are the experts on the pandemic. Studies show that masks reduced transmissions in school. They're a proven tool that helps keep students and teachers safe from COVID, and they can thus help keep schools open and safe. In short, we know works and we need every leader to focus on using the tactics we know work to keep our students safe and our schools open."
She brought up the state of Texas also fighting mask mandates to help keep schools open, and asked Doocy why people are fighting against that for communities like Headstart. "They're fighting against that," she told him. "Why is that? I think that has more to do with politics than it does with public health."
Doocy still insisted on making it about politics.
"But right now in Virginia, the law is, now that there's a new governor, that the students should not have to wear masks if their parents say they don't think they need to wear a mask," he said. "So, if a parent wants to send their kid to school with no mask, should that child be allowed to go to school and be in class?"
Because Doocy needs everything explained to him multiple times, in different ways, Psaki tried again.
"Again, what we're advising school districts on is to abide by public health guidelines and follow public health guidelines. It's about keeping an entire community safe and those are the decisions that people should focus on," she told him.
I wish she had asked him, "If a parent wants to send their kid to school with no pants, should that child be allowed to go to school and be in class?" or "If a parent wants to send their kid to school with a gun, should that child be allowed to go to school and be in class?" I mean, who knows better? School boards or parents? Who does the school board think it is, telling me I cannot send my child to school naked except for a holster for his gun?
She didn't, of course. And then we get this:
"So just so that it's crystal clear for anybody watching, you guys think that ultimately in this conflict between school board members and parents, the school board members should have more of a say?"
Whoa. Way to just put words in her mouth. You know our Ms. Psaki is not going to stand for that.
"That's actually NOT what I said. I think everyone should abide by public health guidelines, not just to keep their own kids safe, but to keep their school community safe, whether it's teachers, classmates, administrators, or others in school," she told him, her patience clearly having run out.
He's not only a stupid son of a b*tch. He's a snake.