All you need to see is the level of protest…
It has taken little time for new White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany to make an impact. Barely a month into her new position she has already gained notice in the press circles, and the fact that it has not been a positive response is a sign she is carrying on President Trump’s stance of opposition with the media. On Wednesday, McEnany served a good dose of what the press can expect with her at the podium.
She faced an accusatory question from John Karl about the administration ‘’hiding’’ Dr. Anthony Fauci from Democrats’ questioning, by having him only testify to the Senate. McEnany parried that by asking a question as a follow-up and having Karl admit that Senate Democrats will also be questioning Dr. Fauci. Then the new administration mouthpiece had a drop-the-mic-moment. After another accusatory question from Jeff Mason of Reuters, this one about her position on the coronavirus, Kayleigh lowered the boom by reading off a number of similar opinions espoused by numerous major media outlets.
We can find just how much of a state of distemper she has driven the press by the reactions seen over at CNN. Oliver Darcy has taken the mantle in trying to knock down the new press secretary — ostensibly down to his level. Darcy wrote a stern rebuttal about the press secretary Wednesday evening in the CNN media newsletter he co-writes with that network’s resident media expert maven, Brian Stelter. It was an amusing little snit.
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) May 7, 2020
The layers of hypocrisy seen in this missive are hilarious. Just to start, he is barking about McEnany using cherry-picked headlines — in her response to a gotcha question rooted in a cherry-picked quote. Apparently it is unseemly of her to use their technique in response. As for Darcy taking umbrage with McEnany walking off and not taking any further questions, this too is hilarious coming from him. I would be interested in asking Darcy about being confident in his position, or in evading his own comments except this is made tougher because, like a fair amount of other conservative writers I know, Oliver has blocked me on Twitter.
Hardly alone, however, he was joined by fellow CNN reporter Andrew Kaczynski in going after Kayleigh McEnany. The force behind CNN’s K-File dug up some old quotes spoken by Kayleigh from 2015. (These are not cherry-picked, we must presume.) In a number of interviews, she had critical things to say about particular comments Trump had made at the time.
This digital dumpster-diving is Kaczynski’s methodology; he was the force behind exposing the identity of the person who created the video meme of Donald Trump body-slamming the CNN logo. Digging up old quotes in this ”Ah-Ha!’’ fashion is why Andrew and his crew were brought over to CNN in October 2016, from BuzzFeed. This raises the specter that McEnany is not a reputable source of information, since it is set up that someone who once held an opposing position of their employer is not to be trusted. After all, how could we listen to anybody who once had a poor opinion of the entity for whom they now work? Someone who does this cannot really be trusted.
Someone like Andrew Kaczynski.
If Andrew is going to hold up years-old quotes as a form of framing a person’s current character then what should be said of these quotes from Andrew’s days at Buzzfeed?
Beyond that hard-hitting news item, Andrew was willing to be critical of the ratings slide he was seeing at CNN.
The news outlet was doing so poorly he could not rush over to them fast enough when offered a position, curiously enough. In the months ahead of his signing with his current home, BuzzFeed and CNN were embroiled in a feud of words, with the network’s head Jeff Zucker and Buzzfeed’s Ben Smith trading barbs in the press about each other.
Kaczynski was willing to join in, having some side-eye critiques about the network hiring Cory Lewandowski that June.
Try making sense of this; the man who just presented it as a problem that McEnany had critical words of Donald Trump in the past was still jabbing CNN just 2 months ahead of his signing on with the outlet.
We should not make too much out of this, after all. As Oliver Darcy — and so many others at CNN — has made clear over the past few years, there are so many different ways that their own behavior becomes elevated to a problem once others begin employing the very same tactics. Andrew being critical of his soon-to-be employer is COMPLETELY different than when Kayleigh was critical of Trump ahead of her hiring on his campaign.
Just do not ask the minds at CNN how it is different. You’ll likely be blocked from the conversation.