Jen Psaki, President Joe Biden’s press secretary, held her first official briefing and immediately made headlines, though not for yelling at the press or trying to cover up her boss’ lies. So why Psaki was trending on Twitter? Because the briefing was, for all intents and purposes, normal.
Addressing reporters on the evening of Biden’s historic inauguration, Psaki was instantly and refreshingly transparent about how she expects the administration to serve the American people, emphasizing, “I have a deep respect for the role of a free and independent press in our democracy.” Like the President’s inauguration speech, which called for unity and rebuilding among a divided nation, Psaki was also open about the challenges the administration will face going forward.
“There will be times when we see things differently in this room … That’s okay,” she said. “That’s part of our democracy, and rebuilding trust with the American people will be central to our focus in the press office.”
“Jen Psaki sure taking her sweet time getting to those crowd numbers,” joked “Modern Family” executive producer Danny Zucker, hashtagging “#fail” for good measure.
“The normalcy we’re seeing right now is shocking to my system,” deadpanned author John Pavlovitz.
Jen Psaki’s press conference comes in stark contrast to Trump’s four years in the White House. Briefings from press secretaries Sean Spicer, Sarah Sanders, Stephanie Grisham, and Kayleigh McEnany often ranged from out of control to disgraceful, including slamming the media for blaming Trump after the Pittsburgh synagogue shootings to straight out lying about Trump’s sexual harassment allegations … despite promising honesty.
Read more reactions below.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki: "Let's do this again tomorrow."
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) January 21, 2021
Can guarantee that Jen Psaki will not try to claim that Biden’s inaugural crowd today was bigger than it was. @PressSec
— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) January 20, 2021
Jen Psaki is giving the first White House press briefing of the post Kayleigh McEnany Era, and it is SO refreshing not to be treated to a firehose spray of lies.
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) January 21, 2021
BREAKING: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has not told us alternative facts about Biden’s inaugural crowd size
— Lindy Li (@lindyli) January 21, 2021
Jen Psaki is blowing me away.
— Mary L Trump (@MaryLTrump) January 21, 2021
Jen Psaki handled economic issues when we got to the White House in 2009. She briefed from the podium at the State Department. She later became the White House communications director. There's literally no one better prepared for the @PressSec job and it shows.
— Tommy Vietor (@TVietor08) January 21, 2021
Jen Psaki is a REAL Press Secretary.
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) January 21, 2021
Listening to Jen Psaki makes me happy and anger at the same time. Why the fuck did we put up with so much verbal abuse and disrespect from trump's press secretaries? Never again. L
— Tom and Lorenzo (@tomandlorenzo) January 21, 2021
Jen Psaki is as refreshing as the return of truth and democracy.
— Bryan Behar (@bryanbehar) January 21, 2021
WH Press Secretary Jen Psaki: “Rebuilding trust with the American people will be central to our focus in the press office and in the White House every single day.” Great way to start off ??????
— Maria Shriver (@mariashriver) January 21, 2021
On Inauguration Day, Jen Psaki, the first Press Secretary in 4 years, is going to give her very first briefing.
Just imagine, no more propaganda to heal an ego. No more lies to cover up crimes. No more bullshit to hide the racism. No more buffoonish putrid sycophant mouthpieces.
— Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) January 18, 2021
Just for fun, Jen Psaki should insist that today was the largest Inauguration crowd in history.
— Matt Lewis (@mattklewis) January 20, 2021
President Biden press secretary Jen Psaki is a real life reincarnation of CJ Cregg of West Wing television series fame. Impressive start. Personable, professional, factual. Been a while since we've seen that in the White House press briefing room.
— Don Martin (@DonMartinCTV) January 21, 2021
I'm not used to this. I didn't hear a single lie, or even a fib, during @PressSec Jen Psaki's first WH press conference. Am I dreaming? Or deaf? Open to honest corrections. But wow. That felt like the best shower ever. pic.twitter.com/kKQdKA01d7
— Peter Staley (@peterstaley) January 21, 2021
The normalcy we're seeing right now is shocking to my system.
— John Pavlovitz (@johnpavlovitz) January 21, 2021
we've had no insults yet. no meltdowns. no smears of the "fake news." pic.twitter.com/KfpwCgAwsA
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 21, 2021
Jen Psaki is the perfect person for this role at this moment. Deeply experienced, instinctively kind, and able to make government accessible and understandable
— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) January 21, 2021
So reassuring to see a real press briefing again. Nice job @jrpsaki. “Let’s do this again tomorrow.”
— S.E. Cupp (@secupp) January 21, 2021
— shauna (@goldengateblond) January 21, 2021
— Sherrilyn Ifill (@Sifill_LDF) January 21, 2021