Former Biden spokeswoman to cover this year’s election for Liberal Network
Former White House press secretary Jen Psaki will cover this year’s midterm elections on MSNBC, the network announced Tuesday. PSAKI is the latest in a long line of former government officials, ex-cops and retired spies to land TV spots after quitting their jobs in Washington.
PSAki left the White House earlier this month amid rumors that a deal between her and MSNBC was in the works. Although its employees would have feared that such an agreement “tarnish” the network’s supposedly unbiased image, the deal was reached and announced by MSNBC President Rashida Jones on Tuesday.
In a statement, Jones said the network chose Psaki for her. “Extensive experience in government and on the campaign trail and perspective as a White House and Washington insider.”
“She is a familiar face and a trusted authority for MSNBC viewers, and we look forward to her insights during this consequential election season,” Jones continued.
In addition to her upcoming work as a political commentator, Psaki will host her own show on Peacock, MSNBC’s streaming service, starting in early 2023.
PSAKI is hardly a trailblazer for having left Washington for a career in cable news. MSNBC employed a host of prominent officials as commentators, particularly those who worked for United States law enforcement and spy agencies. These include former CIA Director John Brennan, former Acting DEA Director Chuck Rosenberg and former FBI Deputy Director Frank Figliuzzi.
David Axelrod, a former adviser to Barack Obama, found work at MSNBC after leaving the White House, as did Robert Gibbs, President Obama’s first press secretary and boss of Psaki between 2009 and 2011. The pipeline also runs through the two directions, with the replacement of Psaki in the White House, Karinne Jean-Pierre, having previously worked as a political analyst at the network between the relays of the Obama and Biden campaigns.
MSNBC isn’t the only network recruiting former White House spokespeople. Two months after Donald Trump left last year, Fox News has hired its latest publicist, Kayleigh McEnany, as a contributor. MSNBC is also not the only network to recruit heavily from the intelligence agencies of Democratic administrations.
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In recent years, CNN has counted former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden, and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe as commentators, among others. Like those at MSNBC, former CNN executives often find their way back to government. Antony Blinken was a CNN contributor after serving as Obama’s deputy national security adviser, and is now Biden’s secretary of state. Samantha Vinograd served on Obama’s National Security Council before moving to CNN and then returning to Washington as a senior member of Biden’s Department of Homeland Security.
In a statement about his time at MSNBC, Psaki said his contributions to the network would be directly influenced by his time in the Biden administration. “My time in government, from the White House to the State Department, and years before in national political campaigns, will fuel the insight and perspective I bring to this next chapter,” she says.