Former Vice President Joe Biden will make history by having a female-led communications team in the White House, the Washington Post reported on Sunday. The only problem with the claim is that President Trump’s communications team is led across the board by women right now.
“Jennifer Psaki, a veteran Democratic spokeswoman, will be Biden’s White House press secretary, one of seven women who will fill the upper ranks of his administration’s communications staff. It is the first time all of the top aides tasked with speaking on behalf of an administration and shaping its message will be female,” the Post’s Annie Linskey and Jeff Stein falsely claimed.
NPR’s Benjamin Swasey and Franco Ordoñez also regurgitated the spin from the Biden team, writing that it would be “the first time in history” such roles were filled by women.
White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Matthews, a woman, noted that the Trump administration’s communications team is entirely female-led right now:
It’s difficult to believe that Washington Post and NPR reporters on the White House beat are unaware of the fact that women lead the Trump communications team.
Kayleigh McEnany is the current press secretary for President Trump, the third woman in a row to hold that role for the current president. She is also the third mother in a row to hold that role.
Communications Director Alyssa Farah is a woman who has served in communications roles with the Trump administration for more than three years.
The vice president’s communications director is Katie Miller. She is a woman.
The first lady’s spokesperson is Stephanie Grisham. She is a woman who previously served as President Trump’s press secretary. And Karen Pence’s director of communications is Kara Brooks, also a woman.
Anyone with passing familiarity with the Trump administration’s communications team knows that, in the Post’s phrasing, all of the top aides tasked with speaking on behalf of an administration and shaping its message are female. As Ben Williamson, a deputy advisor to the president, joked:
Rather than admit that these stories were wrong and that Trump was the first president to have all-female leadership of his communications team, reporters pointed to lower-level men in the White House communications team to deflect. Here’s Maggie Haberman of The New York Times, for instance, responding to McEnany’s tweet on the matter:
Haberman could have emailed or called Deere and asked him. Or she could have perused his Twitter account, where he’d already tweeted the following:
The Trump White House would be known for its high placement of females in key roles if the media were even remotely honest about the facts. Throughout his administration, women have been many of President Trump’s top advisors and communications leaders.
Under President Trump, as was reported by The Federalist in June, “For the first time in history, half of the senior leaders of the National Security Council are women. Twelve of the 24 directorates are led by women now, including three of the six regional directorates that cover the world.” They include Dr. Deborah Birx, Allison Hooker, Elizabeth Erin Walsh, Sue Bai, and Julia Nesheiwat, all women.
As Rebeccah Heinrichs, a Hudson Institute senior fellow, noted:
The trumpeting of false claims that are beneficial to Biden and other Democrats while ignoring the achievements of Trump and Republicans is typical for many media corporations. Many reporters alternate between cartoonish hostility to Trump and sycophantic obeisance toward Biden. A few examples from Yamiche Alcindor, who particularly beclowned herself during the Trump era, and others.
While it’s lovely that political media are so encouraging and supportive of Biden operatives, the contrast with their posture toward Trump officials is difficult to ignore. And it’s not that there isn’t embarrassing material to highlight for the new Biden team:
Psaki was previously a contributor to CNN and might be best remembered for her role in a scandal involving the Obama-Biden administration’s deletion of embarrassing footage from a State Department video press conference.