As they often do after White House press briefings, mainstream media “reporters” had mini-tantrums this afternoon after press secretary Kayleigh McEnany discussed police-related cancel culture towards the end of the daily briefing, mentioning “Paw Patrol”, “Cops”, and “Live PD” as victims of such efforts. Here’s what she said:
[President Trump is] also appalled by cancel culture, and cancel culture specifically as it pertains to cops.
We saw, a few weeks ago, that “Paw Patrol,” a cartoon show about cops, was canceled. The show “Cops” was canceled. “Live PD” was canceled. Lego halted the sales of their “Lego City Police Station.” It’s really unfortunate because I stand with — and the President stands with — the 63 percent of Americans who think police officers are one of the most important jobs in this country. That’s 63 percent.
McEnany’s referencing of “Paw Patrol” sent many “journalists” including CNN hall monitor Brian Stelter into a tizzy. Stelter rushed to seemingly fact check McEnany, proclaiming she was wrong. He tried to cover all the bases by suggesting that even if McEnany meant the show was canceled “by a few randos” that nobody should really care – because if Brian Stelter doesn’t care then no one else should either:
Of course, Trump defenders will say @PressSec meant "Paw Patrol" was ~~cancelled~~ by critics. Maybe by a few randos; who cares? It was a joke, a meme. But McEnany put "Paw" on a list w/shows that were actually cancelled. A dumb narrative gets even dumber. https://t.co/k0PIPLKHME
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) July 24, 2020
Real Clear News reporter Philip Wegmann piped in around the same time to note that the possibility of characters from “Paw Patrol” being canceled had in fact been written about in a major newspaper, insinuating that this may have been what McEnany had been referring to:
Paw Patrol has not been taken off air, but the cartoon about lovable canine law enforcement has faced "cancellation" in the figurative sense. See the New York Times below: pic.twitter.com/Ni2EtrpRYF
— Philip Wegmann (@PhilipWegmann) July 24, 2020
Karen Stelter smugly jumped all over Wegmann in response, essentially accusing him of being a propaganda tool for the White House simply because he was doing his job:
LOL. Is your job to defend the WH press secretary’s bogus statements now?
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) July 24, 2020
The responses to Stelter were brutally on-point. First was a refresher for Stelter on how actual journalism is supposed to work (which he might know if he didn’t work for CNN):
LOL some reporters still do that old-fashioned journalism thing where you can provide relevant context without endorsing an argument
— Emily Jashinsky (@emilyjashinsky) July 24, 2020
Then there were the other news outlets that also wrote about suggestions that parts of or all of “Paw Patrol” should be canceled:
Why would we pretend this whole saga didn’t happen? pic.twitter.com/PKF0uhQAii
— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) July 24, 2020
Another Twitter used a classic Stelter “but the priorities!” tactic against him, wondering why he was choosing to focus on this in the middle of a pandemic when there were bigger issues that CNN should be reporting on like Gov. Cuomo’s maskless Georgia visit:
Are you really arguing about Paw Patrol? You won’t call Cuomo out for hugging people without a mask during an unnecessary trip to GA but you will call someone out about Paw Patrol. Bless your heart.
— Beatrix Kiddo (@Beatrix1313) July 24, 2020
Then there was the audacity of a pseudo-journalist like Stelter pretending to hold the moral high ground when it comes to understanding the importance of objective political reporting:
Guy who is well paid to defend CNN’s and other media’s malfeasance has thoughts.
— Howard Beale’s hate child (@BealesHateChild) July 24, 2020
Also, there was the inconvenient fact that Stelter’s own network had previously covered the backlash to “Paw Patrol.” I couldn’t find the direct CNN link (probably scrubbed) but I did find a reprint of the CNN story here:
“Now, social media exchanges show backlash against cartoon depictions of law enforcement.” pic.twitter.com/QQ5A0JXkeJ
— Jeryl Bier (@JerylBier) July 24, 2020
Lastly, my RedState colleague Bonchie and I chimed in, noting Stelter was rather inconsistent on the issue considering as recently as two days ago he had acted as a spokesman for the Biden campaign in trying to explain some garbled remarks the presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee made about Trump:
You literally, just two days ago, rushed to the defense of Joe Biden to explain his “what’s with this guy” remark to a local reporter. And you want to try to use this slam?
— Bonchie (@bonchieredstate) July 24, 2020
Here’s you, acting as a Biden spokesman two days ago. Sit down. pic.twitter.com/UymVmAr4no
— Sister Toldjah 😁 (@sistertoldjah) July 24, 2020
While he didn’t sit down, Stelter did run away – and was not heard from again on this subject after his initial comment to Wegmann. Had I been Brian Stelter and just made a complete fool of myself, I would have run away from it, too.