VIDEO: Kayleigh McEnany Flips Script And Questions Reporters On Why Media Downplayed Coronavirus Danger
“I’ll leave you with those questions and maybe you’ll have some answers in a few days”
If you heard a lot of “dayums” Wednesday afternoon but weren’t sure where they were coming from, it was very likely due to new White House Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. She gave a Reuters reporter an epic answer after he asked about past statements she made on the Trump administration’s response to the Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak.
During the press briefing yesterday, Reuters White House correspondent Jeff Mason brought up remarks that McEnany made on Fox News in February when she worked for President Trump’s reelection campaign. Here’s what Mason, a former White House Correspondents’ Association president, asked:
“In a previous life, before you were press secretary, you worked for the campaign and you made a comment I believe, on Fox, in which you said President Trump will not allow the coronavirus to come to this country. Given what has happened since then, obviously, would you like to take that back?”
It was a classic media “gotcha” question. What makes it primarily classic in this particular instance is that, as has been the case in so many other situations, the question added nothing of value to the current discussion of where we are now and how we move forward.
Outside of partisan Democrats, there is not a single person sitting at home who wants to know if the White House press secretary regrets comments she made back when the U.S. had very few diagnosed cases, and at a time when the MSM themselves were downplaying the threat. What people do want to know, however, is what Trump and his Wuhan Coronavirus task force are doing to help combat the virus and get America back on track.
Nevertheless, the gotcha question was asked because this is who the White House press corps are. But McEnany clearly came loaded for bear:
“Well, first, let me note that I was asked a question on Fox Business about the president’s travel restrictions. I noted what was the intent was behind those travel restrictions, which is we will not see the coronavirus come here, we will not see terrorism come here, referring to an earlier set of travel restrictions.
I guess I would turn the question back on the media and ask similar questions. Does Vox want to take back that they proclaim the coronavirus would not be a deadly pandemic? Does The Washington Post want to take back that they told Americans to get a grip, that the flu is bigger than the coronavirus? Does the Washington Post likewise want to take back that our brains are causing us to exaggerate the threat of the coronavirus? Does the New York Times want to take back that fear of the virus may be spreading faster than the virus itself? Does NPR want to take back that the flu was a much bigger threat than the coronavirus? And finally, once again the Washington Post, would they like to take back that the government should not respond aggressively to the coronavirus?
I’ll leave you with those questions and maybe you’ll have some answers in a few days.”
The only thing missing was a literal mic drop as she exited stage right with a smile on her face. Watch:
THIS IS GOLD:@PressSec is asked by a reporter about her previous comments on coronavirus and she flips the question on the media and references specific stories, asking if they'll be retracting them.
She then left the briefing as they screamed.
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) May 6, 2020
What made it even more perfect was hearing Mason in the background muttering about how McEnany was prepared:
The cry from a journalist of "You were prepared for that!" as she walks off is really one for the ages. https://t.co/JcVMAApSDM
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) May 7, 2020
McEnany’s past comments have been featured in various media highlight reels as an example of how Trump, members of his administration, and some on his campaign staff were allegedly downplaying the threat from the Wuhan Coronavirus, so of course she was prepared.
Mason’s media colleagues, I should note, were not amused:
.@jeffmason1 asks Kayleigh about her old statement that the president wouldn't let the coronavirus come to the country. She says she wants to turn it back on the media and reads a list of headlines about the coronavirus, asking if the media wants to take those back. Then leaves.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) May 6, 2020
In retrospect, this is what everyone (journalists most of all) should be asking about Mason’s question and what relevance -if any – it has to anything whatsoever:
What I would like to know is this: what piece of information could this reporter get in response to his question that would be of use to me or anyone? https://t.co/ZK9RqjUVxB
— Andrew Klavan (@andrewklavan) May 6, 2020
In fact, Mason’s question is the exact type of thing signs like this one were made for:
Someone left this note for the OAN personality at the White House: “Do you think your question was helpful in halting the spread of the coronavirus?” pic.twitter.com/Jy8rzVs5Y0
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) March 19, 2020
Because Mason’s not on the White House press corps’ naughty list, he likely won’t ever have presents like that waiting for him at his press station. But he should.DONATE
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