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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Jen Psaki Quashes Seung Min Kim’s Question on Kellyanne Firing

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki casually harpooned one of the dumbest takes to be thrown at that podium … maybe ever, and the source was not some right-wing cable network, it was The Washington Post‘s Seung Min Kim.

At issue was the Biden administration’s decision to seek the ouster of 11th-hour Trump appointees like Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer.

“Quick question: Can the White House confirm that it has asked appointees from the last administration to resign from various boards, including the West Point Advisory Board and the Naval Academy Board, and why?” Kim asked Psaki at Wednesday’s briefing.

“Yes, we have,” Psaki confirmed, and added that “the President’s objective is what any president’s objective is: is — was to ensure you have nominees and people serving on these boards who are qualified to serve on them and who are aligned with your values. And so, yes, that was an ask that was made.”

“Is there any concern that because a lot of these appointees do go across administrations, that there is a risk of politicizing these traditionally non-controversial positions?” Kim then asked, with a miraculously straight face.

“Well, I will let others evaluate whether they think Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer and others were qualified or not political to serve on these boards,” Psaki drily responded.

“But the President’s qualification requirements are not your party registration; they are whether you’re qualified to serve and whether you’re aligned with the values of this administration,” Psaki said.

It was a generously efficient rejection of a premise so idiotic, so absurd, that The Washington Post did not even print it in their article on the subject.

And in a twist delicious enough to make me almost appreciate the existence of uber-troll Kellyanne Conway for a nictitating instant — almost — the former Trump adviser illustrated that idiocy to chef’s kiss perfection just minutes later by posting a letter in which she parroted Kim’s premise, then nakedly and self-consciously used the occasion to make unrelated political attacks.

In case you missed it, Conway and Spicer are just the latest in a long line of mostly-minor Trump holdovers who have been dismissed by President Joe Biden’s administration.

And as Kim and Conway are surely aware, many of them were appointed in December of 2020 in an obvious attempt to seed the next administration with Trump holdovers with fresh terms. It was Trump who spectacularly politicized these appointments.

But unspoken in Psaki’s response was the fact that people like Conway were appointed just weeks before the former guy incited an insurrection against the successor whose transition he was already blocking, an added incentive to clean out the rotten apples he placed in the barrel before being shown the door.

I say all of this not to pick on Kim, but to once again illustrate the degree to which the “objective” media’s thirst for the Old Ways is every bit as destructive, if not more so, than the right-wing usual suspects.

Watch above via C-Span.

This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

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