There are some things in life that just aren’t widely seen as acceptable to make jokes about — people dying is one of them.
Alternatively, jokes about members of the LGBT community are usually off-limits now if they’re focused on their sexual orientation. Also, jokes about disabilities are not good.
But another thing that should probably be off limits is joking about the status of the 79-year-old President of the United States.
A reporter asked, “We haven’t seen anything from [Biden] today. Can you give us a sense of how he’s doing with having to go back into isolation? Is he frustrated? And how is he dealing with being away from the first lady?”
“The day is still young. You’ll never know,” Jean-Pierre responded.
After some awkward silence, she apparently realized the joke didn’t land as she clarified that “I was just making a joke.”
“Clearly, it was not funny. I will try harder next time to be more funny,” she added.
Watch the video below:
Reporter: "How is the president doing with having to go back into isolation?"
Jean-Pierre: "The day is still young, you'll never know."
Jean-Pierre: "Just making a joke. Clearly, it was not funny. I will try harder next time to be more funny." pic.twitter.com/XIom1mCscS
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) August 1, 2022
Finally, Jean-Pierre said, “Look, he is continuing to work from the residence. And I just want to share, as we all know, the president is fully vaccinated. He’s double boosted.”
There’s nothing inherently wrong with press secretaries making jokes if the subject is something that is worth laughing at.
But the president’s health and state of mind aren’t really topics that should be joked about.
And Jean-Pierre isn’t really the best person to be making jokes about reporters not getting answers when she has faced criticism for how she handles press briefings.
In June, Politico reported that her answers have “baffled reporters,” and “many have privately grumbled that when Jean-Pierre does have answers, they are often vague and rarely stray from the pre-written talking points prepared in the binder at the podium.”
A White House reporter suggested that journalists might start “voting with their feet” if the briefings did not deliver more news.
If Jean-Pierre tries her hand at comedy again from the podium, that may accelerate the process.
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