Brian Stelter Carries Water For Psaki After Doocy, Podcast Blowback


Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
Font Size:

CNN’s Brian Stelter defended White House press secretary Jen Psaki Friday over her remarks that Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy sounds like a “stupid son of a bitch.”

The press secretary said Doocy works for a network whose provided questions “might make anyone sound like a stupid son of a bitch” during a Thursday “Podcast Save America” live recording. Stelter said she criticized Fox News rather than Doocy personally.

“I think the point she’s trying to say there is that Fox pushes storylines that are sometimes nonsense, Doocy does that in the briefing room,” he told CNN Newsroom. “But still, she did it in a way playing to a liberal audience that certainly is going to cause a lot of outrage from Fox … to be fair, she didn’t really criticize him directly, she was really criticizing Fox News as an organization.”


Stelter compared Psaki to a student in the spring of their senior year as she begins “relaxing and sharing how she really feels.” The press secretary is expected to host a show on MSNBC’s streaming platform, Peacock, and be part of live television programming around the month of May.

“Remember in spring of your senior year, you’re about to graduate and you’re just tired of all this. I think we’re seeing that from Jen Psaki. She’s about to leave the White House, she’s about to go to a job — likely MSNBC — so she’s kind of relaxing and sharing how she really feels.”

President Joe Biden called Doocy a “stupid son of a bitch” on a hot mic in January as he attempted to ask whether inflation will be a “political liability” for the Democratic Party in the midterm elections. Host Alisyn Camerota defended Doocy, saying it was a “fair question.” (RELATED: John Roberts Jumps To Defends Doocy After Psaki Slammed Doocy’s Questions) 

“That’s not a gotcha question, Brian,” she said.

“No, that’s not a gotcha question but there have been other times, though, where I think Doocy does advance right-wing talking points in the briefing room but that’s his right,” Stelter responded. “That’s the point, the tension there is to be expected and it’ll exist for whoever replaces Psaki as well. It’s just a shame that Psaki is going to go off to another channel and we won’t have Psaki versus Doocy anymore.”

The president later called Doocy within an hour of the incident telling him the remark was “nothing personal.” The Fox News White House correspondent said he “appreciated” Biden for reaching out.

“He said, ‘it’s nothing personal, pal,’” Doocy responded. “I told him that I appreciated him reaching out. Hey, Sean, the world is on the brink of, like, World War III. With all the stuff going on, I appreciate that the president took a couple minutes out this evening while he was still at the desk to give me a call and clear the air, but I don’t need anybody to apologize to me.”

In response to Psaki, Fox News issued a statement Friday in defense of Doocy calling him a “terrific reporter.”

“In his role as White House correspondent, Peter Doocy’s job is to elicit truth from power for the American public. His questions are his own, he is a terrific reporter and we are extremely proud of his work,” the statement said.