Fox News journalists Steve and Peter Doocy tell DailyMail.com how they get mistaken for brothers
Top Fox host Steve Doocy still ties his son’s neckties – but says Peter Doocy’s meteoric rise as the channel’s White House correspondent has outstripped even his own success.
The proud father and loving son spoke to DailyMail.com in an exclusive video interview ahead of Father’s Day, Steve beaming as he recounted his son’s accomplishments and Peter fondly recalling his visits to Fox HQ as a kid and playing catch with his old man: the only baseball coach who would have him.
Peter, 34, is the eldest of three. His sister Sally, 28, also works at Fox News as a senior manager and sister Mary, 32, is Assistant General Counsel at the FBI.
Steve, 65, has been co-host of cable’s highest-rated morning news program Fox & Friends since 1998 and his wife Kathy is a former TV sports reporter.
So while some may have expected their son to join the family business – not Steve.
‘Peter was never going to get into television because he was unattractive,’ he joked while his son sat beside him. ‘He would either go into business school or become a lawyer or something professional like that.
‘Then he asked a question of John McCain during the 2008 presidential campaign when he was in college. That single question changed the arc of his life.’
Proud father Steve Doocy and loving son Peter Doocy spoke to DailyMail.com in an exclusive video interview ahead of Father’s Day
The father and son are pictured at the North Lawn of the White House in 2018, shortly before President Trump walked out for an exclusive live half hour interview with Steve on Fox News
Steve has been co-host of Fox & Friends since 1998 and his wife, Kathy, is a former TV sports reporter. Steve, Kathy and Peter are pictured at Ronald Reagan’s White House Easter egg roll in 1988. Peter, nine months old, is seen chewing on his father’s White House press credential
‘Peter was never going to get into television because he was unattractive,’ Steve joked about his son, who is pictured at the podium in the White House briefing room in 2007 while he was a Villanova University sophomore. Peter is standing about eight feet from his current assigned seat in the briefing room
A video of the 2008 event shows Peter, now 34, as a student at Villanova University in Pennsylvania, asking McCain in front of an audience of hundreds: ‘I’m sure that you saw one of your Democratic opponents Hillary Clinton recently drinking whisky shots with some potential voters.
‘I was wondering if you think that she’s finally resorted to hitting the sauce just because of some unfavorable polling? And I was also wondering if you would care to join me for a shot after this?’
Peter says that away from the podium, his conversations with Jen Psaki are far more personable
The cheeky question won the young journalist the attention of his dad’s bosses, and set him on a career that would lead to more irreverent questions, many asked in the White House briefing room.
Those pointed probes, and outgoing press secretary Jen Psaki’s sharp retorts, were fodder for memes made by both conservatives and liberals celebrating the supposed political punch-up.
But Peter says that away from the podium, his conversations with Psaki were far more personable. ‘On TV you’ve got to make it quick and off camera you don’t,’ he told DailyMail.com.
‘When I talk to her privately, you’re not so pressed for time. And so we’re able to actually have thoughtful chats about different things.
‘We had a very nice chat on her last day, just kind of reflecting on everything over the last year and a half. We posted a photo that was shared widely.’
The May 13 tweet shows 6’6′ Peter towering over reportedly 5’5′ Psaki, both smiling with one arm around each other.
Steve revealed Peter gives his height an even greater boost with an extra three inches of coiffed hair, for which he credits Kathy.
‘The main influence from his parents regarding his career is from his mother. He’s got his mother’s hair. He’s 6’6′, but with the hair he’s 6’9′,’ he said. ‘It’s all about volume.’
During the interview with DailyMail.com both men opined on the prospects of the Biden administration, the chances of a 2024 Trump ticket, and whether the new White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre will measure up to Jen Psaki’s famously fiery exchanges with Peter.
Peter said he plans on watching Paski’s planned new MSNBC on Peacock show – and may even call in for another verbal sparring match for old time’s sake.
He also had kind words for Jean-Pierre.
‘She used to be very proactive about reaching out, trying to gauge what kind of stories I was going to be covering. So we have had a good working relationship,’ Peter said.
‘I think once she gets settled in, she will be a great advocate for the President, the same as Jen was.’
The journalist’s relationship with President Joe Biden has not always been collegiate. He’s seen on Fox News talking about a bust up with the president earlier this year
On January 24 Peter called out asking if Biden thought inflation was a political liability for his administration. Biden smiled but muttered into the hot microphone calling Doocy ‘a stupid son of a b***h’
The White House correspondent brushed off the barb however, and revealed that Biden actually asked his staff to allow tougher questions from the press
Peter (pictured at a White House press briefing) admits that, even in his 30s, he needs his father to tie his neck tie for him. ‘He ties them once and then I just kind of loosen them and tighten them up again’
Dad-of-three Steve talks Father’s Day
Celebrating Father’s Day this year
The week before Father’s Day we are all gathering for my son-in-law Ali Sadri’s birthday, and since it’s so hard to get right adults who live in different cities in the same place at the same time, we will have an early Dad’s Day celebration in Dallas. Then I will try to talk TSA into allowing me to carry on board my gifts which will certainly include an array of exotic and ultimately dangerous BBQ tools.
To do Fox & Friends I get up at 3.30 every morning, including weekends (hard habit to break), so on Father’s Day morning when the kids would finally wake up (around 8) and go into the kitchen to make me breakfast in bed, when they finally have it prepared, they’d beg me to please go back to the bedroom and climb under the covers, so they can serve me breakfast in bed, even though I got up four hours earlier, and already had breakfast and was ready for lunch.
We love to make things with our own two hands to give each other when we can, and about 25 years ago Kathy and Peter, Mary and Sally decorated and personalized individual picture frames. They have been sitting on my desk every day since then and every time I glance over, that takes me back to when they were still actual kids, and it makes me smile.
Photographs of the children in frames they all decorated for Father’s Day 2000
The journalist’s relationship with President Joe Biden has not always been as congenial as with his spokeswoman.
Before he was allowed a front row seat and designated question time in presidential briefings, Peter was forced to lob questions from the back of the room.
On January 24 he called out asking if Biden thought inflation was a political liability for his administration. Biden smiled but muttered into the hot microphone calling Doocy ‘a stupid son of a b***h.’
Peter told DailyMail.com he missed the comment and it wasn’t until his wife, Fox business correspondent Hillary Vaughn, texted him outside the room that he heard about the president’s insult.
The White House correspondent brushed off the barb however, and revealed that Biden actually asked his staff to allow tougher questions from the press.
‘I would ask him about whatever I was interested in, it was always really short,’ Peter said. ‘Maybe because the questions were so short, they were easy for people just to tweet and to have a clip circulate quickly.
‘I think the President within a week or so sent a message to his team that the hard questions were okay.
‘My experience for more than three years now in Biden world is that he really likes the opportunity to take hard questions to explain his views on things.’
Steve said he was ‘very proud’ of his son’s performance, and has enjoyed watching his progress from Peter’s first White House press briefing under the Obama administration.
‘Peter was just filling in for somebody… getting ready for President Obama to come out and brief the press,’ he said. ‘There was Bill Plante from CBS who’s been there for decades, a legend. There was Peter Alexander from NBC. And between the two of them was Peter Doocy, who had never done a White House presidential event like that.
‘I was just imagining, number one, that is so cool that that’s my son. And number two, I wonder what his heart rate is right now, because I bet it is close to the zip code.
‘That’s when I realized Peter was on a different track than I was on as a young man in his 30s.
‘His mom and I watched and we were very proud.’
Turning to Peter he said: ‘Every parent wants their child to do better than they do. I didn’t expect you to go this far this fast. You’re doing very, very well. We’re all proud of you.’
‘Every parent wants their child to do better than they do. I didn’t expect you to go this far this fast.’ Steve said to his son as he was interviewed by DailyMail.com. Seven-month-old Peter is pictured in a backpack with Steve at their home in Washington, DC in 1988
Peter is pictured with his baseball coach Steve, after their New Jersey town’s baseball championship in 2001. They came in second!
The father-of-three said Peter and his sisters had been coming into Fox HQ since they were kids, watching their dad work. Peter is seen making bunny ears behind Steve, with sister Mary and sister Sally, the day Sally was born, in 1993 in Reston, Virginia
Peter- pictured here at age 6 – said: ‘For the last couple years, people for whatever reason started thinking that we were brothers, which is probably terrible for me’
Though he said his son neither needed nor received a leg up from him at Fox, Peter did reveal one piece of advice his father gave him early in his career at the channel.
‘We were walking around the newsroom. He told me I should roll up my sleeves,’ Peter said.
‘He said ”If you have your sleeves rolled up, people will just think that you’re busy. On to something.” That has turned out to be a great trick.
‘You can just go walk to get a glass of water from the kitchen at the bureau. And if your sleeves are rolled up, I think that people just assume you’re so busy making calls and working on deadline.’
It is not the only piece of clothing Steve has counseled his son on. Peter admitted it is ‘absolutely true’ that his dad still ties his neck ties for him.
‘Every necktie you wear is from me – that I tie,’ Steve said. ‘Well, he ties them once and then I just kind of loosen them and tighten them up again,’ his son replied.
The father-of-three said Peter and his sisters had been coming into Fox HQ since they were kids, watching their dad work.
‘I would take the kids to ”take your kids to work day” at Fox,’ the Fox & Friends host said. ‘They’d all come in, mainly because we had pizza. You get to watch a movie, a new cartoon in this private screening room.’
Peter added: ‘For the last couple years, people for whatever reason started thinking that we were brothers, which is probably terrible for me.’
Steve revealed that despite their jobs it is his wife who is the family’s biggest news junkie, watching the Fox host’s three-hour show in the morning then ‘all day for Peter.’
But at home, Steve says he gets no special treatment from his wife and daughters as a TV star. ‘When we get home, it’s like, Hey, Dad, can you do me a favor? The air conditioner is making a funny noise,’ he said.
‘We have jobs on television. But that is way down the food chain of how they would think of us. It’s Dad and Homework Helper and Big Scary Bug Killer and stuff like that.’
Steve Doocy, 65, has been co-host of cable’s highest-rated morning news program Fox & Friends since 1998
Despite their plugged-in positions, both father and son said they had no idea whether Donald Trump will run in 2024. Steve is pictured with Trump in 2011
Despite their plugged-in positions, both father and son said they had no idea whether Donald Trump will run in 2024.
‘I asked so many people, I honestly don’t know. And I haven’t talked to him. Because I don’t think he has made up his mind,’ Steve said.
They were both in agreement however that Biden’s biggest challenge is inflation.
‘Inflation is the number one issue,’ Peter said.
‘Inflation is something that affects even people that are not activists that are not interested in politics.
‘It’s not something that can be easily reversed. And so they’re up against the clock with midterms coming.’
However, the Fox White House correspondent added that counterintuitively, a flip to Republican control of the House and Senate could lead to a less divided politics, at least among long-time party leaders.
‘It’ll be an opportunity for the President if Republicans take control,’ he said.
‘He’s known Mitch McConnell for decades. They both came up in DC before progressives were pressuring Biden and conservatives pressuring McConnell on social media.
‘It’ll be a great chance for the two of them to go back to the old way of doing things and see if they can still make it work.
‘By then Biden would be hoping for reelection. When you’re not necessarily trying to appeal to either end of the ideological spectrum. You’re aiming for the middle.’
Steve and Peter are pictured after a round of golf in Owasso, Oklahoma at Folds of Honor charity golf tournament in 2019
The pair spoke to DailyMail.com from Steve’s home in New Jersey, but are planning to have an early Father’s Day celebration in Dallas where the kids will make their father breakfast in bed. Peter, Mary, mom Kathy, Sally and dad Steve are pictured
He added that he thought Biden had achieved one of his goals, to get the country past COVID, but not to unite it.
‘If you look at the two big things that candidate Biden said he was going to do – defeat COVID – it seems like in pretty much every part of the country people are beyond COVID,’ he said.
‘Another big promise was to repair the soul of the nation. This is a time in history where there’s all these tragedies and people are hurting. I think he just needs to continue trying to use his strength as a healer.’
The pair spoke to DailyMail.com from Steve’s home in New Jersey, but are planning to have an early Father’s Day celebration in Dallas – where Steve will receive a smorgasbord of BBQ-related gifts from sauces to skewers.
He said routine for the special day is more relaxing now than it used to be.
‘To do Fox & Friends I get up at 3.30am every morning, including weekends – a hard habit to break,’ he said.
‘So on Father’s Day morning when the kids would finally wake up around 8 and go into the kitchen to make me breakfast in bed, when they finally have it prepared, they’d beg me to please go back to the bedroom and climb under the covers, so they can serve me breakfast in bed, even though I got up 4 hours earlier, and already had breakfast and was ready for lunch.’