During Friday’s briefing, White House Press Secretary Jennifer Psaki took a question via videoconference from a local reporter in Juneau, Alaska.
Reacting to the event, CBS News correspondent Kathryn Watson wrote on Twitter that Psaki “announces a new tradition of taking a question from a regional reporter who can’t physically be at the White House.”
Spicer, who oversaw the institution of the tradition during the Trump administration fired back, accusing CBS News of being biased toward Democratic politicians.
“A ‘new tradition’, are you kidding,” he wrote. “I get CBS News is in the tank for Dems but at least try to fake it better.”
A Newsweek reporter, Elizabeth Crisp, also noted on Twitter that she received one of Spicer’s “skype questions” while working as a local reporter in Baton Rouge, La.
CBS News has been under fire this week following its “60 Minutes” package on Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ handling of the coronavirus vaccination rollout, particularly his administration’s agreement with grocery chain Publix to distribute the shot.
During the White House briefing, the local Alaskan reporter called on by Psaki asked about federal coronavirus restrictions in both the U.S. and Canada that are hindering the state’s cruise industry ahead of its summer season.
The reporter noted Canada isn’t allowing ships to enter its ports or waters due to a strict prohibition from the Trudeau administration while an 1886 U.S. law mandates most cruise ships — because they are often not registered in the United States, but instead the Bahamas or Malta — returning to the Lower 48 must dock in Canada or a “distant foreign port” first.
Psaki, after dealing with a brief technical difficulty, replied that the White House is in contact with Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and others about a potential fix to prevent damage to the Last Frontier’s tourism-heavy economy.