As the disappointing Mayweather/Pacquiao Fight of the Century demonstrated, you just never know who’s going to give you a good fight. Case in point: Wednesday’s White House daily briefing, which set up a promising showdown between Fox News White House Correspondent Kevin Corke and Press Secretary Josh Earnest over President Obama’s recent slam of Corke’s employer. Corke, relatively new to Fox News, asked Earnest to specifically identify what President Obama finds objectionable about his network’s coverage of poverty. Instead of putting on a lobster bib, slamming open a comically large book and having at it for twenty minutes or so, however, Earnest responded this way:
Kevin Corke: What was he specifically objecting to, in terms of Fox’s coverage, for example?
Josh Earnest: Well, again, I’ll let the president’s comments stand for themselves.
Kevin Corke: In specificity, was there something in particular…
Josh Earnest: He talked about it specifically, and you can use his comments if that’s what you’d like to do.
What a rip. President Obama referenced the “Obamaphone” lady, which I’m pretty sure was a Drudge thing, but there is so very much material that Earnest could have used, I won’t even try to cover it here. Let me just say that my “favorite” one was John Stossel posing as a homeless person, then making up stories about it on TV. I say it’s my favorite only because I can then immediately watch this other clip of Stossel getting smacked up by pro wrestler David Schultz:
Press secretaries are a little bit unpredictable when it comes to engaging with Fox News, but it was disappointing, nonetheless, and I’m sure no one was more disappointed than Corke’s news editor.
What’s weird, though, is that elsewhere in the briefing, Earnest did mix it up, going after CNN’s Jim Acosta like a rabid badger with a sinus headache. At issue was President Obama’s handling of the politics of TPP, and in particular, his visit to Nike headquarters. In an exchange that Earnest would later describe as “inexplicably heated” (and for which he took complete responsibility), the press secretary took turns interrupting Acosta’s questions, and steamrolling over his followups:
What we have here, folks, is a sign of the times. Jim Acosta wasn’t really the target of Earnest’s ire, he was just pouring all of his frustration at the Warren wing into Acosta, frustration that clearly overshadows whatever Fox News has earned, and to which this White House has obviously become acclimated. I guess you really do always hurt the ones you love.