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In The Loop
Posted at 08:00 AM ET, 05/14/2013

New State Department briefer on the podium


Jen Psaki at the White House in 2011 (Charles Dharapak - AP)
It’s happened! New State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki did her first official briefing Monday and, best we can tell, while she seemed maybe a bit nervous, she did a fine job.

She also learned a very important lesson: State Department reporters at the briefings can be a bit humor-deprived. You have to help them.

Take, for example, this exchange with a reporter who complained that he had raised a question last week “and I’m still waiting for an answer.” The question was what was State’s account of a meeting officials had last week with a group of South Asian human rights activists.

“Your side of the story please?” the reporter asked.

“Yes, I apologize,” she said. “I don’t have anything new for you on that today. I will — I’m happy to check on it. And we’ll make sure the appropriate person is fired.”

There was a moment of confused silence.

“Just kidding,” Psaki said.

Some reporters started to laugh.

“That’s a joke,” she explained.

More laughter.

Note to Psaki: no kidding from the podium.

By  |  08:00 AM ET, 05/14/2013

Tags:  Psaki, State Department, spokeswoman, briefing, joke, Al Kamen, Emily Heil, In the Loop

 
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