PBS White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor is getting a second job — as the host of the Friday night journalists’ roundtable Washington Week. The New York Times calls this “a calm redoubt in the shouty battleground of political television.” That’s because it’s a table full of liberals. Think of it as the liberal counterpart to The Journal Editorial Report on Fox News.
Sharon Percy Rockefeller, the wife of former Sen. Jay Rockefeller, is the CEO of WETA, the Washington PBS superstation that produces the show. She offered a statement.
“One of the most respected voices in journalism today, Yamiche is known for her command of public-policy issues and her intrepid work as a member of the White House press corps. With composure and tenacity, she has covered some of the most momentous political stories of our time, continually demonstrating the highest standards of journalism.”
“Intrepid” and “tenacious” are not currently in vogue at the White House. At Biden’s first White House press conference, Alcindor sort of asked about the border crisis by proclaiming “the perception of you that got you elected as a moral, decent man is the reason why a lot of immigrants are coming to this country and are trusting you with unaccompanied minors.”
This is separate from her regular appearances on MSNBC, like her gush last November when Biden won: “I was talking to a Democrat who just said this also felt like the Avengers, it felt like we are being rescued from this, this craziness we’ve all lived through these past four years and now here are the superheroes to come and save us all.”
Alcindor is the second black woman to host the show. Gwen Ifill had that job from 1999 until her death in 2016. She told the New York Times ““So much of what has guided my journalism is, how are vulnerable populations being impacted by these policies? That will be my guiding light.”
Alcindor was known for angrily squabbling with President Trump. In August 2019 at a press conference at the G7 summit in France, Alcindor grew emotional with Trump when he spoke about Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea. She said: “Why do you keep using the misleading statement that Russia outsmarted President Obama … Why keep repeating what some people would see as a clear lie?” Russia invaded and took Crimea, and Obama did nothing to stop it.
Then she went on PBS NewsHour and complained about Trump, saying, “He also repeated his incorrect claim that Russia was kicked out of the group because Russia outsmarted former President Barack Obama.” At the time, former White House secretary to President George W. Bush Ari Fleischer insisted, “The fact that neither she, nor apparently the rest of the White House press corps, thought her question was out of line, and an example of bias, shows how deep the bias runs.”
This is how you climb the ladder of success in liberal media — lots of liberal “tenacity” at the right targets.