Give this gal FIVE GOLD STARS. She is awesome. If the press won’t ask the questions I want answers to, then Kayleigh can ask them for me. Thanks, Kayleigh!
This week’s Liberal Media Scream features the inevitable rip by media big shots on newly installed and battle-eager White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.
And the hits didn’t come just from the usual liberal suspects, but Fox News’s Chris Wallace and the Dispatch’s Jonah Goldberg.
It came on Wallace’s popular show Fox News Sunday in a discussion with Goldberg over McEnany’s scolding of reporters for not looking further into the Michael Flynn scandal and how it showed the unraveling of the Russia collusion narrative.
Wallace declared: “I have to say that if Kayleigh McEnany had told Sam Donaldson and me what questions we should ask, that would not have gone well.” Goldberg said that McEnany’s behavior was “indefensible and grotesque” and like a “Twitter troll who goes on attack, doesn’t actually care about doing the job they have.” Wallace echoed that “McEnany isn’t acting like she is working for the public. She acts like she is what she used to be, which is a spokesperson for the Trump campaign.”
McEnany had told reporters at Friday’s briefing: “If I write them out in a slide format, maybe we’re visual learners, and you guys will follow up with journalistic curiosities. … Why was Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn unmasked? Not by the intel community entirely but by Obama’s chief of staff, by the former Vice President Joe Biden. By Susan Rice. By the treasury secretary. I mean, this is extraordinary.”
From the May 24 Fox News Sunday:
CHRIS WALLACE: Jonah, first of all, it’s not extraordinary. Unmasking is pretty routine. The effort by people in an administration to find out who a masked American person is. It happens in the Trump White House. It happened, I think, 16,000 times the year before last. What’s a crime is leaking it, but unmasking isn’t. In addition, to which, I have to say that if Kayleigh McEnany had told Sam Donaldson and me what questions we should ask, that would not have gone well, Jonah.
JONAH GOLDBERG: Yeah, look, it’s nice to see Donna so deferential to Kayleigh McEnany. I think her behavior is indefensible and grotesque. And I think that what she has done is she — there’s this cliché in Washington that President Trump wants a Roy Cohn as DOJ, as attorney general. What Donald Trump wants in a press secretary is a Twitter troll who goes on attack, doesn’t actually care about doing the job they have, and instead wants to impress, really, an audience of one and make another part of official Washington another one of these essentially cable news and Twitter gladiatorial arenas. And it’s a sign of the defining of deviancy down in our politics, and it’s only going to make things worse.
WALLACE: Jonah — Josh, rather. In the time we’ve got left, you know, the White House press secretary is always a complicated job. They work for the White House. But they’re paid by taxpayers. They are public officials. And Kayleigh McEnany isn’t acting like she is working for the public. She acts like she is what she used to be, which is a spokesperson for the Trump campaign.
Republican communications adviser Josh Holmes: Chris, I just disagree. I think Kayleigh’s doing a nice job, and what’s missing from this conversation that we’ve had this morning is the context by which she’s making these statements. I think that any spokesperson in the Trump world, whether it’s in the White House or the campaign, finds themselves under constant attack by the press. The confrontational nature by which journalists approach the questioning is not really to obtain much information so much as to try to back them into a corner, and I think Kayleigh said, ‘I’m not going to play that game,’ and so yeah, it is completely different from what we’ve seen from years and years of briefings from press secretaries. But I think it’s reflective of the nature that we find ourselves in.
Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Wallace and Goldberg obviously aren’t used to a press secretary who fights back and takes on a press corps which is the most hostile ever to a president. What they find so appalling in McEnany is what Trump supporters find so refreshing: an advocate for the president willing to get into the faces of journalists to directly address their biases.”