Psaki's first briefing for the Biden administration on Wednesday prompted some to compare her to Allison Janney's West Wing character. Mary McNamara says the comparisons "are a bit worrisome. C.J. Cregg being a fictional character played by one of America’s finest actors and Psaki being a flesh-and-blood human, one who previously served as spokeswoman for the Department of State as well as in various senior communications roles in the Obama White House. Don’t get me wrong. I love Allison Janney with a love that is deep and true. C.J. Cregg is one of television’s greatest characters, and The West Wing remains a terrific television show. It is not surprising that many found comfort binge-watching it over the last four years, particularly during a pandemic exacerbated by a profound lack of presidential leadership...Psaki’s dry humor and direct manner during her first presser were indeed reminiscent of C.J., who was in fact based in part on Dee Dee Myers, press secretary for President Clinton. But, and I cannot stress this enough, Psaki is an actual person doing an actual job, and C.J. is a product of Aaron Sorkin’s imagination. C.J.'s abilities and failings (she absolutely did have an inappropriately flirtatious relationship with Concannon, which absolutely did lead to him having increased access to the president) were conjured to create a highly idealized version of the White House under progressive leadership, while serving the streamlined narrative structure of television."
TOPICS: Allison Janney, The West Wing, Jen Psaki, Biden Presidency