Jen Psaki gives a very professional glare during a White House press briefing.

Jen Psaki Shut Down Fox News’ Pointless Question About Transgender Girls in School Sports

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With Donald Trump out of office, we also got to say goodbye to former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany. It’s such a refreshing change of pace to be able to watch Joe Biden’s press secretary, Jen Psaki, who actually answers questions directly and doesn’t harbor a clear disdain for the profession of journalism.

That doesn’t mean Psaki doesn’t sometimes make her feelings clear on certain questions. She’ll answer them with grace and professionalism, but you can definitely tell when Psaki thinks a question is BS. Like the one she got Tuesday from Fox News’ Rachel Sutherland, about Biden’s executive order extending Title IX anti-discrimination protections to transgender students.

“On President Biden’s transgender rights executive action, specifically when it applies to high school sports, what message would the White House have to trans girls and cis girls who may end up competing against each other and sparking some lawsuits and some concern among parents?” Sutherland asked. “So does this administration have guidance for schools in dealing with the issue arising over trans girls competing against and with cis girls?”

Psaki responded: “I’m not sure what your question is.” Same, honestly.

Basically, Sutherland is asking if Biden has a “message” for school officials who are “dealing with” with angry parents of cisgender girls—presumably because those parents might be making some assumptions based on bunk pseudoscience about trans girls possibly joining their sports teams.

“Trans girls are competing [with] cis girls on a level playing field,” Sutherland adds, just in case Psaki (and the rest of us) don’t 100% understand her meaning and her implied disapproval.

Psaki’s response is simple: “I would just say that the President’s belief is that trans rights are human rights and that’s why he signed that executive order.”

I’d nearly forgotten what it was like to have competent, empathetic humans in that whole building.

(image: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.