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Briefing Room Showdown: Fox News Reporter Spars With Psaki Over Network’s Access to Biden

© REUTERS / JONATHAN ERNSTWhite House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S. February 25, 2021
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S. February 25, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 26.03.2021
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Earlier, US President Joe Biden held his very first major news conference to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic, migrant crisis, and much-needed comprehensive gun control measures, among other hot-button issues. However, the event saw Biden call on every media network except Fox News.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki took Fox News reporter Peter Doocy to task on Friday after the correspondent confronted her over Biden’s failure to pick on him during the question period of the event.

The tense exchange initially began with Doocy noting that Biden often has with him a list of journalists to call on from the pool, and that Fox News is the “only member of the five network TV pool that has never been on the list in front of the president.”

Aside from Fox News, the network pool Doocy refers to includes ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN.

“I’m just curious, is that official administration policy?” the White House correspondent asked after he failed to ask Biden anything from his “binder full of questions.”

​And with that, the gloves went out the window and the setting was set for several seconds’ worth of cringey, eyebrow-raising, back-and-forth remarks between the pair.

“We’re here having a conversation, aren’t we?” Psaki remarked in turn, as Doocy attempted to respond. “And do I take questions from you every time I come to the briefing room? Has the president taken questions from you since he came into office, yes or no?”

After being overtalked, Doocy eventually managed to get more than two words in, explaining that he has “only” been able to get a response from Biden when he has “shouted” out a question once the president goes down his list of reporters.

“The president has been very generous with his time with Fox. I'm just curious about this list that he’s given. [Fox News is] the only member of the five network pool never on it dating back to when he resumed in-person events in Wilmington during the campaign,” Doocy added.

Sidestepping Doocy’s actual question about the list of reporters, Psaki ultimately called the exchange to an end after citing their “limited time” in the briefing room. The press secretary did, however, indicate that she is “always happy to have this conversation,” and that Biden “has taken” questions from the reporter in the past.

Doocy was not the only individual not called on during the event, as reporters from The New York Times also failed to get a question answered by Biden.

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