Joe Biden’s wife Jill has come under fire from some on the right in recent weeks for her insistence on being addressed as “Dr. Biden” on account of her doctoral degree in education. But in a stunning exchange Sunday, one Fox News host made clear that he’s not buying the criticism.
Speaking with Jes Psaki, Joe Biden’s pick for White House press secretary, Fox’s Chris Wallace likened Jill Biden to civil rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr. while defending the incoming first lady for using the title “doctor,” The Hill reported.
“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 doctor,” Wallace said Sunday, as The Hill reported.
“I wonder,” he continued, “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 Rev. 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.”
“One of the things I’m most proud of”
Psaki, for her part, didn’t object to Wallace’s analogy. According to The Hill, she called the controversy “a bit perplexing” in light of the serious problems that America faces.
Jill Biden’s credentials first became an issue following the publication of a Wall Street Journal editorial that advised her to stop using the title, as she is not a medical doctor. According to The Hill, Jill Biden herself took issue with the piece, telling CBS late-night host Stephen Colbert, “One of the things I’m most proud of is my doctorate.”
Jill Biden also reportedly objected to the article’s “tone” and the fact that the writer had referred to her as “kiddo.”
“Just incredibly embarrassing”
Of course, that’s all unlikely to sway conservative commentator Ben Shapiro: during an episode of his daily podcast last week, Shapiro argued that using the honorific “doctor” should be reserved for physicians, such as his wife.
Shapiro went on to note that he doesn’t demand that others address him as “Dr. Shapiro,” despite holding a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Also unimpressed with the first lady-to-be is Wallace’s fellow Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who called Jill Biden “illiterate” during an episode of his own program, according to The Hill. Carlson also characterized her dissertation as “nonsense.”
“The whole thing is just incredibly embarrassing, and not simply to poor illiterate Jill Biden, but to the college that considered this crap scholarship, embarrassing in fact to our entire system of higher education, to the nation itself,” the Fox host declared, as The Hill reported.
Carlson had previously said Jill Biden is a doctor “maybe in the same sense Dr. Pepper is,” according to The Independent.