Reporters have focused like laser-beams on the Trump administration’s mask-wearing habits. Turns out some of those same reporters don’t practice what they preach.
Believe it or not, daily mask-wearing reports have become an actual thing among some reporters in the White House press corps.
Without fail, one or more of them will either send a tweet, make a comment during a live segment, or write actual stories on whether or not White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany wore a mask at the daily press briefings, or whether or not President Trump, Vice President Pence, or other members of the Wuhan Coronavirus task force are wearing them.
CNN White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins (seen pictured above) has been one of the reporters who often fills everybody in on the mask-wearing habits of Trump administration officials as if the millions of unemployed Americans struggling to make ends meet really care whether they are or not. Here are a few examples:
Bill Barr says on Fox News he's still going into work most days but wears a mask, as does his security detail. He checks his temperature & has been tested for Covid-19 when he meets with POTUS. When his staff meets in person, they space out but mostly do teleconferences.
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) April 9, 2020
At vaccine event in the Rose Garden, POTUS is joined by several officials on stage. Some, like Dr. Birx and Dr. Fauci are in masks. Others, like Defense Secretary Esper and HHS Secretary Azar, aren’t.
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) May 15, 2020
At that same Rose Garden presser Friday, it was Collins who asked Trump about why some administration officials present for the briefing were wearing masks but others weren’t:
“Mr. President, can you just clarify why are some of you wearing a mask and why are some of you not wearing a mask?” Collins questioned, prompting the president to reply, “We’ve all been tested. I’ve been tested.”
“We’ve all been tested and we are quite a distance away and we are outdoors, so I told them, I gave them the option, they could wear it or not,” he explained. “So you can blame it on me, but I gave them the option. We could wear it or not.”
Given how often she reports on and asks about mask-wearing, you’d think Collins herself was stringent in the practice. But during the daily press briefing Friday with McEnany, Collins was caught breaking the rules.
As McEnany left the podium, Collins (in the pink blazer in the front row) got up and immediately pulled her mask off. She then walked around and appeared not to social distance around others who were wearing them:
The mask is for show? https://t.co/XnRLiEJ1L5
— Power Tie (@realPowerTie) May 15, 2020
White House Correspondents’ Association president Jon Karl of ABC News also thought he’d get into the mask-shaming act last week. Here’s what Karl posted about Fox News’s John Roberts during another Rose Garden press briefing earlier in the week (the photo of the man without a mask is Roberts):
Almost everybody in the Rose Garden is wearing a mask — almost everybody. pic.twitter.com/JBnEV05HOd
— Jonathan Karl (@jonkarl) May 11, 2020
CNN senior media correspondent Oliver Darcy, who is a frequent critic of Fox News, retweeted Karl’s photos.
It didn’t take long, however, for photos to surface of Karl … not practicing what he preaches:
You didn’t wear a mask on Cinco de Mayo to pick up your tacos from Mi Vida. Why not? Is there a different standard for the media? Are there some places we have to wear masks and others we don’t? pic.twitter.com/nA8L69TsEj
— Luke Mahoney (@LukeRMahoney) May 11, 2020
Roberts fired back at Karl a short time later, providing the details that Karl conveniently left out:
Facts – I was quietly seated more than 6' away from the closest person (adhering to CDC social distancing guidelines)
-When the press conference began, I put mask on.
So – what, exactly is the basis for this petty effort at shaming???? https://t.co/ctW4knjkyD
— John Roberts (@johnrobertsFox) May 11, 2020
The next day, Karl stated that his tweet “left the wrong impression” and that he wanted to correct the record, although he did not state what the “right interpretation” of his original tweet should have been:
Yesterday I tweeted photos of the extraordinary scene in the Rose Garden. The photo of @johnrobertsfox left the wrong impression. He is a good reporter who cares about protecting his colleagues and his family. He was practicing social distancing. I did not mean to imply otherwise
— Jonathan Karl (@jonkarl) May 12, 2020
But Roberts was not going to let him off the hook so easy. The same day, Roberts tweeted out a photo of himself in a mask and noted the circumstances around it:
And just for the record, this is me prior to going out to the Rose Garden yesterday. I wore the mask out to the Garden, then took it off for my live shot with Cavuto, then a few minutes later, put it back on. pic.twitter.com/QZeJHxaTpI
— John Roberts (@johnrobertsFox) May 12, 2020
And on Saturday, Roberts took a subtle dig at Karl by posting a photo of himself wearing a mask while on the phone outside the same restaurant Karl was photographed at not wearing a mask a week or so earlier:
— John Roberts (@johnrobertsFox) May 16, 2020
A week earlier, CNN’s Jim Acosta tried his hand at mask-shaming, too. Unfortunately for him, he was also exposed for not practicing what he preaches:
If all of this sounds ridiculous, it’s because it is.
I feel confident in saying there is not a single person in this country who has not already made their own determinations as to whether or not to wear a mask when they go out in public. They are not watching press briefings to find out if that’s what they should do, they’re not paying attention to whether or not Trump, Pence, McEnany, or anyone else happens to be wearing a mask when they’re on live TV.
And yet reporters like Collins, Karl, and Acosta seem to think shaming people on the issue, whether it’s Trump officials or their own colleagues, is something people actually care about and or focused on. They don’t and they aren’t.
Perhaps the exposure of these three hypocritical journalists will stop them and the rest of the press corp from providing minute-by-minute updates on the mask situation at the White House with an analysis of What It All Means, but I doubt it.
Why? Because the White House press corps are a lot like Democrats. If they didn’t have double standards, they’d have no standards at all.
— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —DONATE
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