On the heels of the revelation of a slew of plans from the Biden administration to confront violent crime across the country, Fox News journalist Peter Doocy showed up at a Wednesday White House press briefing with some dubious questions. White House press secretary Jen Psaki promptly dismantled his arguments. The Biden team’s ambitions include a push from the president for “cities and states to access [American Rescue Plan] funds for summer job programs that serve young people and for educational enrichment programs,” as CNBC put it, and Doocy questioned whether that would be effective.
After Doocy insisted that “there is a lot of crime in big cities,” Psaki replied, “Much of it caused by gun violence, would you agree?” Doocy answered in the affirmative, undercutting willful Republican ignorance towards the problem of gun violence. Subsequently, to his point, Doocy asked how authorities would “reduce gun violence by expanding employment opportunities, including summer jobs for young people.”
Psaki pointedly replied as follows:
‘Well first, there are several components of this proposal. One of them is an initial set of actions on gun violence — or additional steps on gun violence, which the president feels are important to get guns off the streets, make sure they are not in the hands of people illegally, many of whom are playing a role in violent crime across the country… He also wants to provide, as we’ve seen has been effective in communities across the country, incentives and alternatives for young people in communities where that has shown to be an effective step.’
Doocy replied by seemingly glossing right over the substance of what Psaki was actually saying. Psaki was discussing what would seemingly amount to proactive steps to stop circumstances from evolving into facilitators of gun violence, while Doocy subsequently discussed what he called “some criminal who has been committing crimes with limited interruption or interference from police for the last couple of weeks or months.” In other words, he was speaking in reactive terms rather than proactive ones, although obviously, the Biden administration is not actually proposing responding to acute instances of gun violence by expanding employment opportunities. Doocy sounds like he’s harboring a willfully and ignorantly reductive understanding of what’s at hand.
Doocy asked the following:
‘So is the thought there basically that… some criminal who has been committing crimes with limited interruption or interference from police for the last couple of weeks or months is going to stop this easy life of crime if they have a summer job?’
Psaki replied as follows:
‘Well, I think the president believes that we shouldn’t allow access to guns to those criminals who are currently illegally buying them from some dealers… And part of his announcement is taking steps to do exactly that. But part of his announcement is also ensuring there is specific guidance to communities across the country to ensure that they have funding to get more community police around the country.’
Indeed — besides the support for communities seeking to increase employment opportunities, the Biden administration is also backing using federal relief funds tied to COVID-19 to finance police operations. Doocy ever-so-conveniently left that part out of his remarks about the issue. Check out the interaction below: