One reporter in the Press pool seems to have remembered that journalism is about reporting facts not regurgitating talking points.
On Monday, Matt Lee, an Associated Press reporter with a host of by-lines in a variety of media sources over his career, called out State Department spokesman Ned Price for attempting to take credit for an accomplishment for the work done under the Trump administration.
Price was discussing the updated report sent to Congress regarding the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, an $11 billion Russia-backed project that would transport natural gas from Russia to Germany. This project would make Europe even more dependant on Russian energy.
President Trump was quite vocal in his opposition to the pipeline saying that it could turn Germany into a “hostage of Russia.” In 2019, Trump imposed sanctions on firms assisting in its build. The sanctions worked.
During Monday’s presser, Price was implying that it was the Biden administration that was responsible for 18 entities scaling back their involvement in the pipeline construction.
That’s when a random act of journalism occurred — Lee confronted Price on the Biden administration claiming credit for Trump-era policies. It got a bit heated, and then Price backpedals furiously.
Here’s a partial transcript:
LEE: Ned, don’t you think it’s a bit disingenuous to claim credit for the 18 companies winding down? All of this work was done under the previous administration.
PRICE: Matt, I’m not —
LEE: You guys have only been in a month for —
PRICE: Matt —
LEE: I mean, only been in office for a month, right? Are you telling me that in the last four weeks —
PRICE: Matt, I am —
LEE: — these 18 companies all of a sudden decided to say, “Oh my God, we better not do anything with Nord Stream 2.”
PRICE: Matt, I am speaking for the —
LEE: All of that you’re taking —
PRICE: I am speaking —
LEE: You guys are taking credit for stuff that the previous administration did, right?
PRICE: Matt, Matt, I am not —
LEE: No? Yes or no?
PRICE: I am speaking for the Department of State.
LEE: Okay. All right.
When the corporate media actually gets something right, it’s good to praise them for it.
If only this kind of thing happened more often.
The Biden administration has been taking credit for all sorts of accomplishments of the Trump administration — from the very existence of vaccines for COVID-19 to the vaccine distribution plan that they said didn’t exist but are currently following.
This is nothing new to Democrats, after all, Speaker Pelosi taking credit for the $600 stimulus checks.
Matt Lee is right, it’s a bit disingenuous to claim credit for the previous administration’s accomplishments, especially when it’s only been a few weeks into the new administration.
Kudos to Lee for calling out Price on that.