Incoming White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called Fox News a “racist” network during a March 2020 appearance on MSNBC.
“Fox News was racist before coronavirus, they are racist during coronavirus, and Fox News will be racist after the coronavirus,” Jean-Pierre said during a segment that bashed conservative media for referring to the COVID-19 pandemic as the “China virus.” The remarks raise questions about how fairly the future press secretary may treat right-of-center journalists during White House press briefings.
Daily showdowns between outgoing press secretary Jen Psaki and Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy have come to define the Biden administration’s attitude toward right-leaning journalism. In light of her past comments, Jean-Pierre is expected to continue the adversarial approach as she will be forced to answer questions from a network she called “racist” just two years before.
Jean-Pierre, whose partner Suzanne Malveaux is a CNN correspondent, also came under fire for claiming without evidence that Stacey Abrams won the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election. The White House has not responded to a request for comment asking whether she will recuse herself on matters involving CNN.
“Reminder: Brian Kemp stole the gubernatorial election from Georgians and Stacey Abrams,” she tweeted two years after the race in April 2020.
Both the tweet about Fox News and the Georgia election are still up on her personal Twitter account.
Psaki will depart the White House for MSNBC, where she is slated to host her own streaming show. NBC News journalists “expressed dismay” about the decision after it was announced, fearing it will “tarnish” the network’s reputation.