She expertly handled his attempt to slam Olympian Gwen Berry's protest at a recent event by giving him a quick civics lesson on the spot.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has yet again proved why she's the perfect woman for the job. During a press briefing earlier this week, she expertly handled a Fox News reporter's attempt to slam Olympian Gwen Berry's protest at a recent event by giving him a quick civics lesson on the spot. When right-wing reporter Peter Doocy tried to pull a "gotcha" moment on Psaki by getting her to condemn the athlete for protesting during the Olympic trials by turning her back on the flag during the national anthem, the press secretary was ready with the perfect answer: the First Amendment.
Peter Doocy asking questions to Jen Psaki. pic.twitter.com/34nDJh91Th— Dave Koehler (@davekoe) June 29, 2021
"This weekend Gwen Berry, who represents the United States as an Olympian on the hammer-throwing events, won a bronze medal at the trials, and then she turned her back on the flag while the anthem played," Doocy said. "Does President Biden think that is appropriate behavior for someone who hopes to represent Team USA?" Immediately recognizing the trap he'd laid, Psaki clarified the nature of Biden's patriotism in a badass mic-drop moment. "I haven't spoken to the President specifically about this," Psaki began, "but I know he's incredibly proud to be an American, and has great respect for the anthem, and all that it represents especially for our men and women serving in uniform all around the world."
She then hit Doocy with a civics lesson that he seems to have slept through in high school. "He would also say of course that part of that pride in our country means recognizing there are moments where we are as a country haven’t lived up to our highest ideals, and it means respecting the right of people, granted to them in the constitution to peacefully protest," she said. As we previously reported, Black activist athlete Gwen Berry believes the national anthem incident on Saturday was a trap. While it is usually played once every evening at the trials, at the US Olympic track and field trials over the weekend, it was played just as Berry stood on the podium after receiving her bronze medal in the hammer throw.
Psaki on Biden's response to an athlete turning her back on the flag: "He's incredibly proud to be an American ... part of that pride in our country means recognizing there are moments where we as a country haven't lived up to our highest ideals." pic.twitter.com/YMOVAeYu29— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) June 28, 2021
In response, Berry turned and faced away from the flag as the Star-Spangled Banner played and held a Black T-shirt featuring the words "Activist Athlete" over her head once the anthem finished. "They did it on purpose,'' said Berry about the timing of the anthem, reported ESPN. "I was pissed, to be honest. I don't really want to talk about the anthem because that's not important. The anthem doesn’t speak for me. It never has."
Berry added that her “purpose and mission” is bigger than sports. "I'm here to represent those... who died due to systemic racism. What I need to do is speak for my community, represent my community, and help my community. Because that’s more important than sports," she said. It was not the first time Berry has courted controversy for her activism. She was handed 12-month probation in 2019 by the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee for raising a fist to protest social injustice in the US, while receiving a medal at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru. The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee later issued new guidelines to allow peaceful protests "in support of racial or social justice for all human beings."
Is this your preferred ritual? pic.twitter.com/BbAZ4EO7vY— Erik Halvorsen (@erikhalvorsen18) June 27, 2021
Twitter quickly responded with resounding praise for Psaki's handling of the Doocy's sinister query.
Once again, Jen Psaki made Peter Doocy look like a fool and and idiot. When he will realize that he is no match for Psaki?— Art Monette (@ArtMonette) June 28, 2021
Doocy keeps lobbing this stuff Psaki's way and she just lobs them back, schooling him as she goes.— Hollisann (@hbiggsrochester) June 28, 2021
He couldn't have been more perfectly taken to school than if he were in the backseat of a sensible car and strapped into his infant seat. A place where you observe and learn because you know so precious little yourself. https://t.co/y0N4olnkrG— Kiersten Warren (@KierstenWarren) June 28, 2021
Wait until Doocy finds out about the domestic terrorist insurrection that happened on January 6th which was supported by a majority of his colleagues! He'll be outraged!— The End of the World (@ChairmanOhtori) June 28, 2021