White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has had a rocky 16 months on the job, but that didn’t deter Vogue from giving her the royal treatment in a fawning new feature.
The glitzy profile and photoshoot examines Jean-Pierre’s “preparedness,” “discipline,” and “integrity,” complete with quotes from First Lady Jill Biden, former Biden press secretary Jen Psaki, and others – alongside glitzy pictures of her lounging in the West Wing and posing on balcony of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in designer duds.
On Friday’s show, Megyn was joined by Jesse Kelly, host of The Jesse Kelly Show and I’m Right, to discuss the seemingly misplaced praise of Jean-Pierre and the history of questionable hires in the Biden administration.
The ‘Vogue’ Treatment
Jean-Pierre, 49, is the first Black person and the first openly gay person to hold the White House press secretary position, which is mentioned right off the top of the profile – titled “White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre Has Made History—And Waves” – published on Vogue.com on Thursday. It also appears in the October issue of the magazine.
In the piece by writer Mattie Kahn, Jean-Pierre discusses her failed attempt at medical school (her MCAT scores were “terrible”), how she got the job (she had a “20 second” interview with President Joe Biden), the schedule she keeps (she gets up around 5am), her breakup with former CNN correspondent Suzanne Malveaux, and her pre-press briefing beauty routine (she touches up her makeup with “a faded Beautyblender”) among other things.
Meanwhile, the author relishes her “bright” outfits and “bold eye shadow”; Psaki waxes poetic about the “viceless” single mom who snacks on roasted seaweed and doesn’t drink coffee or alcohol; and the First Lady sings her praises. “As a pioneering White House press secretary, she brings grace, integrity, and insight to the podium,” she told Vogue in a statement. “With her calm, quiet confidence, Karine inspires us all.”
Her style at the White House lectern, Vogue says, “is to disarm with a smile, then lay out the facts at hand.” As for concerns that she lacks the communication skills for the job, Kahn claims it’s all a misunderstanding. “Some in the press corps have complained that Jean-Pierre reads too much from her binder—that she sounds rehearsed,” she writes. “That is because she rehearses. In prep, she chooses adjectives and verbs with fastidious care.”
Megyn noted that all you have to do is listen to a press briefing to know that is not true. “Honestly, she’s got to be the worst White House press secretary ever, and I include Sean Spicer in there,” she said. “Did you know… that she is up there rehearsing those banal answers, allegedly choosing her adjectives and verbs with fastidious care?”
Kelly admitted that he was unaware. “I don’t know how you can find a worse one than ‘Karine Diversity Hire,’” he quipped. “This is the press secretary – her job is to talk. She should be better at talking, really, than most people because her job is to be the voice [of the administration].”
Instead, she often stumbles through reciting prepared remarks. “When she gets up there… she has to read everything,” he added. “When someone asks her a question, she’s looking down or she’s referencing her notes on just basic questions of the day.”
The Press Corp Responds
According to the New York Post, reporters who cover the Biden White House are less than pleased with the Jean-Pierre profile. Several members of the press corp anonymously told the Post that it was irresponsible of Vogue to highlight a press secretary who has been so unfriendly to the press.
Megyn said it’s no wonder they are annoyed. “She’s been very anti-press,” she noted. “There is no integrity there, and there’s certainly zero insight she’s provided since she took over the job… It’s a middle finger every day to them.”
DEI in the Biden Administration
In Kelly’s view, Jean-Pierre is one of several high-ranking Biden administration officials who got their post because of identity politics. “We all know ‘Karine Diversity Hire’ was not hired because she could speak well… she was hired for diversity reasons,” he said. “That’s embarrassing and makes for funny montages, but how many critically important positions in this government have been filled in the exact same way?”
He and Megyn rattled off Vice President Kamala Harris, Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Assistant Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Rachel Levine, and former deputy assistant secretary in the Office of Nuclear Energy Sam Brinton as a few examples.
“These people matter – they matter a lot,” Kelly concluded. “The last guy who was stealing women’s luggage and wearing thongs around the airport had the nuclear codes.”
You can check out Megyn’s full interview with Kelly by tuning in to episode 623 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.