Tone policing is an ad hominem, anti-debate tactic used to derail discussions of substantive issues by focusing on the tone of the other party.
But when Fox Business correspondent Edward Lawrence tried to use the ploy during a White House press briefing, Press Secretary Jen Psaki steered the discussion back to the issues.
After a lengthy list of the positive points—according to Lawrence—of the new Georgia voter suppression bill aimed at limiting the ability of people of color, poor and low income people to vote, he asked Psaki if the White House would be changing their "tone" going forward.
Press Secretary Psaki asked:
"The tone for a bill that limits voting access and makes it more difficult for people to engage in voting, in Georgia?"
Lawrence responded that Republican Governor Brian Kemp had an alternate take on the bill pushed through by the GOP. However his assertion came on the heels of Kemp admitting in an interview the new bill has nothing to do with voter fraud the selling point the GOP used to try to gain support for it.
Psaki made the administration of President Joe Biden plain when she stated:
"If you are making it harder to vote, we do not support that."
You can see the exchange between Lawrence and Psaki here:
People online expressed gratitude for Psaki's preparedness and professionalism while not indulging in rhetoric or double speak.
@Acyn What I love about Press Secretary Jen Psaki is that she combats lies with facts. And she has an arsenal of tr… https://t.co/OEn6kD9Ye0— Russell Drew (@Russell Drew) 1617306869.0
@RussOnPolitics @Acyn Those poor reporters who haven't adjusted to having smart press secretary need to catch up.— W. Benjamin Turner (@W. Benjamin Turner) 1617307136.0
@TimothyKenison @Acyn She's terrific. As she was itemizing the components of the bill I wish she would have added t… https://t.co/mzbK0KVM1F— Less Wrong (@Less Wrong) 1617317864.0
@MissNicoletta @Acyn As has been said, "a diplomat is someone who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you… https://t.co/9sTNZMg0OM— Baron Samizdat (@Baron Samizdat) 1617307406.0
@arensb @MissNicoletta @Acyn It’s obvious Jen’s a mom. Patience w ridiculous questions.— Barking Mermaid (@Barking Mermaid) 1617311292.0
@ZaleskiLuke @Acyn The GOP had a great chance to show unity: accept Biden’s call for 100 days of mask wearing. They… https://t.co/MpebjRDA7y— Todd Hess (@Todd Hess) 1617313687.0
@Acyn Boom! I wouldn’t have been surprised if she had held up the microphone and dropped. The press just keeps loo… https://t.co/kqhJP0AsOB— Sherrie Matula (@Sherrie Matula) 1617311355.0
@tettes @Acyn And the WHCP will hate her for it in a way they never hated the pathological Trump liars who snarled… https://t.co/J8eFZMJ27H— NC "Facebook Delenda Est" Steve (@NC "Facebook Delenda Est" Steve) 1617306078.0
@TCFKA_NCSteve @tettes @Acyn Who cares? I am paying her to provide truthful answers, not to make the WHPC like her.— Preserve & strengthen voting rights. (@Preserve & strengthen voting rights.) 1617310428.0
@MacfarlandAj @Acyn Seeing her skillfully navigate the press room question mine field makes me wonder how efficient… https://t.co/GumNNv5GRz— Melinda Johnson (@Melinda Johnson) 1617373977.0
@jpanzer @Acyn "have you learned your lesson here, rook?"— Dwight Denim-Denham (@Dwight Denim-Denham) 1617314333.0
@FLman1980 @Acyn They get slapped around every time they do this, you’d think they’d learn. “Oh people are saying t… https://t.co/n1Evxz09ZE— Lyon Hart (@Lyon Hart) 1617309945.0
The new Georgia law Lawrence wanted the White House to soften their tone on has drawn ire across the country as well as from major corporations with ties to Georgia like Coca-Cola and Delta.
From passage of the #SB202 voter suppression bill targeted at Black and brown voters to the arrest of a Black legis… https://t.co/sjIt0rwZVG— Stacey Abrams (@Stacey Abrams) 1616723301.0
My team and I are in the process of investigating the case. If you would like to assist, please click the link belo… https://t.co/H34oUxkbBk— Representative Park Cannon (@Representative Park Cannon) 1617305477.0
Join me in supporting the organizations holding Georgia Republicans accountable on #SB202 -- a sweeping voter suppr… https://t.co/D9Jq4FoXNI— Will Poulter (@Will Poulter) 1617384418.0
The @nytimes today detailed the provisions in #SB202. To mitigate the harm, we need #ForThePeopleAct and… https://t.co/1J3gq2y8T1— Fair Fight (@Fair Fight) 1617381947.0
Meanwhile, the GOP is pushing similar legislation nationwide.
“These are not men and women who are unclear about their motives and their effect. These bills are being promulgate… https://t.co/gPwBmeTiKm— Lauren Groh-Wargo (@Lauren Groh-Wargo) 1617302313.0
The White House made it clear what side they are on—the right of all citizens to vote.