Who is Peter Alexander? NBC reporter shot down in style by Joe Biden over ‘wearing a mask outside’
The president's interaction with Alexander is in stark contrast to former president Donald Trump, who once called him a 'terrible reporter'
NBC's Chief White House correspondent Peter Alexander got a rare first-hand glimpse of President Joe Biden's ability to get himself out of tight spots. During an interaction with the press on the North Lawn on Tuesday, April 27, Biden appeared maskless. He then went on to talk about no longer needing masks in low-traffic public areas, if you are fully vaccinated. That was when Alexander asked Biden, "Sir, you chose to wear a mask as you walked out here. What message were you sending by wearing a mask outside, alone?"
To that, Biden replied with his trademark grin and said, "by watching me take it off, and not put it back on until I get back inside". Indeed, the president remained maskless for the entire duration of the interaction and only put his mask on as he walked back inside the White House. Biden's announcement is yet another reason for Americans to get both their shots. Of course, masks will still be required indoors and in very crowded venues like sports stadiums, but reportedly you'll no longer need one for a walk in the park, which is a big step towards the return to normalcy. The president's interaction with Alexander is in stark contrast to former president Donald Trump, who once called him a "terrible reporter". Here's a look at the life of Alexander and how he ended up getting one of the most coveted jobs in journalism.
Here's a video of the exchange:
NBC's @PeterAlexander: “You chose to wear a mask as you walked out here, what message were you sending by wearing a mask outside alone?”— The Recount (@therecount) April 27, 2021
Biden: “Now watch me take it off and not put it back on ’til I get inside.” pic.twitter.com/GR252ygxcu
Who is Peter Alexander?
Born in 1976 to a Jewish family, Alexander was raised in Oakland, California. His father, David, was an attorney. Alexander also has a sister, Rebecca, who was diagnosed with the rare genetic disorder Usher Syndrome, Type III. In 2012, he married Alison Starling, who is also a journalist. The couple has two daughters together and lives in Washington DC.
His LinkedIn profile says he has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Northwestern University but does not list a graduation year. His first gig was as a reporter for WKYT-TV in 1997 in Lexington, Kentucky. After just eight months, he moved to Spokane, Washington where he worked for KHQ-TV as an anchor. Alexander then spent three years at KCPQ-TV in Seattle, as both an anchor and reporter. It was this gig where he first got into political journalism, interviewing former president George W Bush, ex-vice president Al Gore and late senator John McCain.
In 2004, he moved to NBC, first as a correspondent. That gig took him all over the world, as he covered Iraq's 2005 election, the death of Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan and the aftereffects of Hurricane Ivan in Cuba. He also covered several high-profile stories in the US, such as the Virginia Tech shooting and the 'miracle on the Hudson'. In 2012, Alexander was assigned to cover the White House. Alongside this, in 2018, he was also assigned as the co-host of NBC's 'Weekend Today' show.
Alexander has had two high-profile run-ins with Trump. The more famous one occurred on March 20, 2020 at a White House briefing. He asked Trump, "what do you say to Americans who are scared though?" To that, the former president replied, "I say that you are a terrible reporter, that's what I say. I think it's a very nasty question. I think it's a very bad signal that you are putting out to the American people. They're looking for answers and they're looking for hope. And you're doing sensationalism."
His first brush with Trump though occurred in 2016 during the campaign trail. In January 2016 at an event in Iowa, Alexander asked the then-candidate about his stance on abortion. Alexander brought up a 1999 interview, in which Trump said he was "very pro-choice". Trump slammed the reporter for not "reading the full statement", even though that is exactly what Trump said. Under the current administration though, he seems to have a more friendly relationship with the current president.