Newly minted White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre described Fox News as a “racist” network during a TV appearance in March 2020, according to a clip that resurfaced this week.
“[Fox News] was racist before coronavirus, they are racist during the coronavirus, Fox News will be racist after the coronavirus,” Jean-Pierre said during a March 15 appearance on MSNBC’s “AM Joy”.
“So there is nothing new here,” she continued. “I think the difference is they are all-in on being state TV for Donald Trump, and so they will continue to give misinformation.”
At the time, Jean-Pierre worked as a political analyst for the left-wing network before joining the Biden campaign a couple of months later. She tweeted out the clip from her personal account and it was still up as of Tuesday afternoon.
Jean-Pierre, now 47, was responding to then-President Donald Trump and other White House officials referring to COVID-19 as the “China virus” while sitting for interviews with the cable channel.
Democrats blasted the Republican administration for the label, with many blaming it for an increase in hate crime attacks against Asian-Americans.
“The danger is, so yes, you have Asian-Americans right now whose lives are seriously in danger,” Jean-Pierre said in 2020. “And, you have their [Fox News’] own viewers who can no, the ones who are 60 and older who are watching, this is a health crisis that we’re in, this is a global pandemic, as the WHO have said, and they’re putting their lives in danger.”
Jean-Pierre, the first black woman and first openly LGBTQ person to hold the position of press secretary, did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment about how her past statements might affect her working relationship with Fox News’ White House reporters. She will replace outgoing press secretary Jen Psaki after she steps down on Friday.
In announcing the appointment of Jean-Pierre, President Biden said she “not only brings the experience, talent and integrity needed for this difficult job, but she will continue to lead the way in communicating about the work of the Biden-Harris administration on behalf of the American people.”
Jean-Pierre’s appointment has raised the eyebrows of commentators who have cited her past controversial political statements.
For example, in a 2019 Newsweek op-ed, Jean-Pierre branded the American Israel Public Affairs Committee as “severely racist.”
“When it comes down to it, AIPAC’s policies are not progressive policies. AIPAC’s values are not progressive values,” she wrote, accusing the lobbying group of “trafficking in anti-Muslim and anti-Arab rhetoric while lifting up Islamophobic voices and attitudes.”
In April 2020, Jean-Pierre tweeted that the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election was stolen from Democratic candidate Stacy Abrams by GOP winner Brian Kemp.
“Reminder: Brian Kemp stole the gubernatorial election from Georgians and Stacey Abrams,” Jean-Pierre wrote, linking to a story about Kemp’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Four years earlier, Jean-Pierre claimed the 2016 presidential election was stolen by former President Donald Trump, tweeting: “Stolen emails, stolen drone, stolen election …..welcome to the world of #unpresidented Trump.”
Other critics have cited a conflict of interest raised by Jean-Pierre’s long-term relationship with CNN reporter Suzanne Malveaux. The two have a daughter, Soleil Malveaux Jean-Pierre.
“This is one of many examples of the corporate media LITERALLY in bed with the government it covers,” tweeted Alex Marlow, editor-in-chief of right-wing news outlet Breitbart, last week after the appointment was announced.