Controversy Surrounds Jen Psaki
White House press secretary Jen Psaki is rumored to be ditching her high-ranking post within the Biden administration for an on-camera gig with MSNBC — a move that has surrounded Psaki with controversy.
While Psaki is far from the first cabinet member to transition to cable news, it is highly unusual to negotiate such a deal while still serving as White House press secretary.
The Hill noted that it bolsters the perception that Psaki has been incentivized to treat potential future employees favorably, and that both CNN and MSNBC — the two networks reportedly trying to secure her services — have also had a reason to ingratiate themselves with the Biden administration.
“It’s hard for the White House to have their chief spokesperson be on deck to be working with the people who are sitting at the briefing,” said Tobe Berkovitz, a political communications specialist and professor emeritus at Boston University.
“And it’s bad for cable news, which already has a reputation for being overly partisan, overly biased.”
Berkovitz added: “She isn’t even out the door yet and she is one direct deposit away from starting a job at MSNBC, so it’s bad for both sides.”
Grant Reeher, a political science professor at Syracuse University, said that Psaki’s “relationship to the media is somewhat analogous to the relationship of a congressional staff member to a lobbying organization.”
“In that case, they have got a pause button you have to hit — and for good reason.”