Fox News anchor Chris Wallace took a not-so-veiled shot at his Fox colleagues who have obsessed over soon-to-be first lady Jill Biden’s use of the title “doctor,” noting on Sunday that other prominent figures who aren’t medical doctors have used it and there’s never been a “fuss about that.”
Following a heavily mocked Wall Street Journal op-ed that suggested Biden using “Dr.” to highlight her doctorate in education was “fraudulent” and “comic,” Fox News host Tucker Carlson spent several days harping on the topic. At one point, he ran down her dissertation and called Biden “illiterate,” prompting at least one advertiser to distance itself from Carlson’s primetime program.
Towards the end of his Fox News Sunday morning interview with Biden press secretary Jen Psaki, Wallace brought up the uproar from the right over Jill Biden’s title, wondering aloud if this was selective outrage.
“There has been some criticism recently from conservatives, including some conservatives on Fox News, about the fact that first lady-to-be Jill Biden goes by the title ‘Dr.,’” the veteran anchor said.
“I wonder, what is the Bidens’ reaction to that, especially given the fact that so many people over the years—I think of Dr. Henry Kissinger, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King—have gone by the title doctor even though they’re not medical doctors and nobody seems to have made a fuss about that,” he added.
Psaki, for her part, responded that Wallace was “exactly right” and that it was “perplexing” to her that there would be so much energy devoted to this media-driven controversy considering that the country is dealing with a devastating pandemic and millions of Americans are out of work.
“It’s a really silly, sexist, and absurd conversation that’s happening in society and I appreciate you asking me about it,” Psaki concluded.
While Carlson has made it clear that he feels it is ridiculous to refer to Jill Biden as “Dr.” “because she’s not actually a physician,” the right-wing Fox News star has regularly used that title with guests who received doctorates in political science and other non-medical fields, such as Trump-boosting pundit Sebastian Gorka.