Rory Hu of Nick News asked two deeply relevant questions about mental health, social media, and education. Psaki answered them with her typical grace and treated Ms. Hu with as much respect as any seasoned reporter in the room.
May 13, 2022

Yeah, get ready for a flurry of Jen Psaki videos, along with this writer doing a lot overdramatic literary sobbing at her impending departure from the White House briefing room. A Psaki Psunami, if you will.

What better way for her to mark her penultimate day as Pres. Joe Biden's press secretary than to welcome an up-and-coming member of the press corp to the fray? With her trademark respect and abundant grace under pressure, Psaki took questions from 6th-grader Rory Hu, from Nick News. No shrinking violet, this Ms. Hu, who stood to ask her deeply relevant questions with nary a waver or tremble in her young voice.

The only difference was that in the beginning, someone else introduced her. But Psaki made sure the room knew that she was completely aware of who Ms. Hu was, and indeed, had even met her before.

"Hi. I just have a question and a follow-up. So, first, there are concerns about the negative impacts of social media on the mental health of children," stated Hu. "Will the White House take any actions to prevent these adverse effects?"

Paski answered, "As a mom myself, Rory -- my daughter is younger than you; she’d think you were very hip and cool, no doubt -- this is a huge concern that I have, we have, the President has -- is the impact of social media platforms, their enormous power, and the fact that it is largely unchecked."

(Oh, now, Jen, don't go flattering the press corps.)

"It is certainly something that our Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, has talked about, in terms of the impact of social media platforms and what the impact they're having on the mental health, the self-esteem of young people," Psaki continued. "And so, I would say the President, the First Lady, all of us believe that more needs to be done."

Hu's follow-up was equally relevant, and perhaps unintentionally put all right-wing media on blast.

"And the Internet has become a tool for children's education," Hu stated. "A lot of students use the Internet to learn. So how will the White House prevent children from getting misinformed from the Internet?"


"Such a good question, too. Well, I know reporters, like yourself, and people that other kids listen to are good voices to provide accurate information. And you ask -- coming here and asking tough questions is an important part of that," Psaki told her.


"I would say that, you know, one of the things that we encourage parents to do is, you know, make sure you are educating yourself on all of these platforms and what information is available, and working with your kids to make sure they understand what's accurate and inaccurate," Psaki continued, reminding parents that the Biden administration does indeed allow parents to have control over what their children learn.

"There are certainly steps the government can take," Psaki conceded. "But there's also an ongoing development of new tools. And we, as parents, need to keep educating ourselves about what's out there so we can make sure our kids have access to good information, informative information -- we watch a lot of animal videos in my house; that's all good and positive -- and not access to information that's inaccurate and misleading or problematic."

You mean, the party of bIg gOvErNmEnT is also taking up the mantle of personal responsibility?

Great job, Ms. Hu. Your penetrating questions got right to the heart of what will help your generation manage the absolute clusterfudge my generation seems intent on leaving in our wake. Truly, I have no idea how, but the kids are alright, and better than than us by light years.

Even the reporter that had the misfortune of following her admitted it: "She’s much better than Portnoy."

Psaki said, "Yeah. Hard confirm."

I am gonna miss Psaki so much, but with reporters like Hu coming down the pike, we may be okay.

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