Speed Reads

No apologies

'Nothing personal, pal': Fox's Peter Doocy says Biden called him to 'clear the air' after 'stupid SOB' dig

President Biden, after getting a question Monday evening from Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy on whether inflation is bad politically, shot back a sarcastic response and muttered under his breath, "What a stupid son of a bitch." In case it wasn't clear from the video (and it is), the White House put Biden's comment in the official transcript. 

Fox News personalities found the comment pretty funny, evidently, and Doocy laughed it off. 

Later Monday night, Doocy told Fox News host Sean Hannity that "within about an hour" of Biden calling him a stupid SOB, "he called my cellphone and he said, 'It's nothing personal, pal.'" Hannity asked, "Did he apologize?" Doocy hedged: "He cleared the air, and I appreciated it. We had a nice call."

Hannity noted that Doocy didn't really answer his question. "Sean, the world is, like, on the brink of World War III right now," Doocy laughed. "I appreciate that the president took a couple minutes out this evening, while he was still at the desk, to give me a call and clear the air. But you know what? I don't need anybody to apologize to me."

After a four-year break in which a president routinely insulted and belittled reporters to their faces, Biden's hot mic insult revives a long Washington tradition of top politicians saying rude things almost out of hearing. In September 2000, for example, presidential candidate George W. Bush leaned aside and told running mate Dick Cheney, "There's Adam Clymer, major-league a--hole from The New York Times." When Bush was asked later that day if he would apologize for his comment, as journalist Bill Scher noted Monday, Bush said, "I regret that it made it to the airwaves."

There also seems be a bipartisan consensus that Doocy asks "stupid" questions, as the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) told him to his face in 2017. 

Hey, it's a job.