White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki got a professional grilling from 6th-grader Rory Hu of Nick News, whose performance earned her praise from Psaki and another reporter.
Hu outclassed the rest of the room at Thursday’s press briefing, asking Psaki some thoughtful questions that did not involve euthanizing dogs, and earning high praise from her briefing room colleagues.
“Rory Hu is from Nick News,” a reporter said, to which a smiling Psaki noted “I know Rory. We’ve met.”
Right from the start, Hu took command by prepping Psaki for multiple questions, telling her “I just have a question and a follow-up.”
Rory proceeded in expert fashion:
MS. HU: So, first, there are concerns about the negative impacts of social media on the mental health of children. Will the White House take any actions to prevent these adverse effects?
MS. PSAKI: As a mom myself, Rory — my daughter is younger than you; she’d think you were very hip and cool, no doubt — this is a huge concern that I have, we have, the President has — is the impact of social media platforms, their enormous power, and the fact that it is largely unchecked.
It is certainly something that our Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, has talked about, in terms of the impact of social media platforms and what the impact they’re having on the mental health, the self-esteem of young people. And so, I would say the President, the First Lady, all of us believe that more needs to be done.
MS. HU: And the Internet has become a tool for children’s education. A lot of students use the Internet to learn. So how will the White House prevent children from getting misinformed from the Internet?
MS. PSAKI: Such a good question, too. Well, I know reporters, like yourself, and people that other kids listen to are good voices to provide accurate information. And you ask — coming here and asking tough questions is an important part of that.
I would say that, you know, one of the things that we encourage parents to do is, you know, make sure you are educating yourself on all of these platforms and what information is available, and working with your kids to make sure they understand what’s accurate and inaccurate.
There are certainly steps the government can take. But there’s also an ongoing development of new tools. And we, as parents, need to keep educating ourselves about what’s out there so we can make sure our kids have access to good information, informative information — we watch a lot of animal videos in my house; that’s all good and positive — and not access to information that’s inaccurate and misleading or problematic.
Psaki then called on Bloomberg’s Justin Sink, who contrasted Hu favorably to White House Correspondents Association President Steve Portnoy of CBS News Radio. Psaki agreed:
MR. SINK: Thanks. She’s much better than Portnoy. So — (laughter) —
MS. PSAKI: Yeah. Hard con- — hard confirm. (Laughter.)
Portnoy normally occupies the second-row seat that Hu took over on Thursday, and may never vacate.
Watch above via The White House and Reuters.
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