- Jen Psaki said the administration doesn’t want to pick a fight with right-wing media.
- She argued Biden needs to use Fox News to get his message out to Americans about COVID-19.
- And she said that Biden doesn’t want to undermine trust in the media after Trump’s attacks.
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White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the Biden administration doesn’t want to pick a fight with an outlet like Fox News after former President Donald Trump made undermining the media a central tenet of his politics.
While former President Barack Obama’s administration treated Fox as an adversary, Psaki defended the Biden administration’s decision to put representatives on the conservative network during a recent interview with Snapchat’s news show, “Good Luck America.” She argued that the conservative network’s audience is too important to ignore and that fighting with the media would be a distraction from more important issues.
“Getting in a fight with Fox News at this point in time for the administration isn’t particularly constructive coming off an administration that completely destroyed trust in media, trust in institutions,” Psaki said. “That’s not the fight we want to fight right now, right? We want to fight a fight about getting the pandemic under control and things that actually impact people’s lives.”
Psaki, who also served in the Obama administration, said the White House needs to talk to Fox viewers in order to effectively get its message out, particularly about COVID-19 and vaccinations. And she said the administration doesn’t allow officials to go on air with Fox’s opinion hosts, many of whom have spread misinformation about the coronavirus and vaccinations.
“You need to be able to speak through a range of formats to reach the public – that’s your objective,” she said. “It also means doing a range of platforms that might not like the president … but that’s okay, our job is not only to talk to people who like us.”
Psaki told reporters at a press briefing earlier this month that the White House is in “regular contact” with Fox and other outlets about their coverage of the pandemic.
Some of Fox’s most popular hosts, including Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham, have for months questioned the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines, promoting false and misleading public health information. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, recently said that right-wing outlets are in part to blame for the tens of millions of Americans who have so far refused to get the shot.