President Trump held a campaign rally last night in Winston-Salem, North Carolina that was attended by thousands. As per the norm, the media focused on making sure to shame all in attendance who were not wearing masks because #journalism or something.
For example, a columnist at the Winston-Salem Journal penned a piece with the headline “Red hats outnumber[ed] masks 100-to-1 at Trump rally in Winston-Salem.” The Hill’s report stated that Trump “and scores of supporters gathered for a rally in Winston-Salem, N.C., on Tuesday without masks, despite the urging of a local Republican official and a state mandate.”
Predictably, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany was asked today during the press briefing about Tuesday’s rally as part of a broader question on Trump holding future rallies in the midst of the Wuhan virus pandemic, including two planned for this weekend in Nevada:
Reporter: “Why did the president have thousands of people, many not wearing masks, at a rally last night in a state [North Carolina] that has limited outdoor gatherings to 50 people? Why is he going to Nevada this weekend to hold similar outdoor rallies?”
After the reporter alleged that Trump was going “against” the guidance of his own administration and local authorities who the reporter claimed Trump said should have the final say in these matters, McEnany used the media’s (and the left’s) own words against them concerning the rights of people to assemble for peaceful protests:
“People have a First Amendment right, if they so choose, to show up and express their political opinion in the form of a peaceful protest, which is what the president held.” She said, decrying a “double standard” between the treatment of Black Lives Matter protests and Trump rallies.
“There is a real double standard here. CNN had on a guest, apparently a doctor, Rob Davidson, who said, ‘Now, true, there are social distancing issues with regard to the protests around the country. However, this is a public health crisis. They are marching against systemic racism.’ So if you’re allowed to march in aggregate in those protests, you are also allowed to show up at a political rally. You have a First Amendment right in this country.”
REPORTER: "Why did the president have thousands of people, many not wearing masks, at a rally last night…?"@PressSec: "People have a first amendment right if they so choose to show up and express their political opinion in the form of a peaceful protest." pic.twitter.com/gRtZfbxbPn
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) September 9, 2020
McEnany is right on the money here. Not that they ever had any, but the media and left lost whatever credibility they thought they had on the issue of mask-wearing, social distancing, and staying at home after they did a complete 180 on protests back in late May after the death of George Floyd. Suddenly the same people who previously slammed and denigrated Reopen demonstrators for “selfishly” marching in the streets for the right to return to work and provide for their families had zero issues with leftist protesters and rioters who marched in the name of “Justice for George.”
That genie, combined with other instances of the left’s (including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s) rank hypocrisy on following the CDC’s guidelines on masks, standing 6 ft apart, staying home, and all the rest, cannot be put back into the bottle.
The more journalists and Democrats try to do so, the more McEnany and other Republicans are going to remind them of their double standards. As they should.