Yesterday, my RedState colleague Bonchie wrote about how Fox News anchor Chris Wallace and former National Review editor Jonah Goldberg bashed White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany Sunday for not only asking journalists at the Friday press briefing about their lack of curiosity over Gen. Michael Flynn’s unmasking, but for also pointing out that it seemed like they didn’t want churches to reopen.
McEnany’s turning the tables on the notoriously combative, left-wing White House press corps earned her a “Twitter troll” designation by Goldberg, who stated that he believed her behavior was “indefensible and grotesque.” Wallace teed up the segment by suggesting that if McEnany “had told” him and former ABC News journalist Sam Donaldson “what questions” they should have asked during a briefing, that it “would not have gone well.”
Their criticisms were absurd for many reasons, as Bonchie explained well in his post, but McEnany herself was asked about them during a Fox and Friends interview this morning, and she did not hold back:
“No I never questioned the religious beliefs of the press,” McEnany responded. “Many of our journalists are great men and women of faith and differing faiths, whether it be the Jewish, Christian faith, the Muslim faith. What I was saying is, I was asked 11 questions as to why churches would be allowed to reopen. It was a bit peculiar to be asked these 11 questions in a row and for the onus and the focus solely to be on why churches are essential, I’ve never been asked why a liquor store was essential so I was merely pointing that out.”
“Journalists are not above being questioned themselves,” she said. “Journalism is a great and noble profession but there’s been a dearth of journalists asking the real questions for President Obama, the criminal leak of Michael Flynn’s identity, who leaked that identity, the dossier used to launch a three year investigation into this president to spy on his campaign why aren’t those questions being asked?”
“It’s journalistic malpractice not to ask those questions,” McEnany concluded.
Watch McEnany respond to co-host Brian Kilmeade’s question below:
What seems to be most at issue here for Wallace, Goldberg, and CNN types like “fact checker” Daniel Dale is that McEnany actually comes to White House press briefings prepared for battle, and gives as good as she gets. Apparently they – especially Goldberg, who specifically stated she wasn’t doing her job – don’t understand that it’s part of the job of a press secretary to be able to combat narratives journalists cook up that sometimes don’t match up with what’s actually happening.
Not only that, but as the “middle man” between the White House and journalists, press secretaries are well within their bounds to ask the media why they aren’t asking questions the White House thinks are worth looking into. This has been the case for decades. McEnany isn’t the only press secretary to have done this and she won’t be the last.
But because she’s so good at it, and because she’s caused so many in the WH press corps to clutch pearls, Goldberg and Wallace saw fit to white knight for them by way of demonstrating that they, too, believe questioning journalists is beyond the pale, which says a lot more about Goldberg and Wallace than it does about McEnany – and not in a good way.