Armstrong Williams

When newly minted White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany took the stage last week for the first time — the first time a Trump press secretary has issued a formal conference in over six months — she encountered a ravenously bloodthirsty media gaggle. It was ready to pounce. Would they be able to totally eviscerate her as they had a slew of her predecessors? Well, no. She turned the tables on them all. Predators, it seems, had become prey.

While the task of how to feed and water the Washington press corps is no secret to those in the press secretary business, what's more impressive is when a White House press secretary can feed them the food of their own making. And so it happened. They served it up warm.

It came about 25 minutes into the press conference. Jeff Mason, Reuters' White House correspondent, asked: "Kayleigh, 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?"

Of course not. Would you like to take the media's entire record back, McEnany replied. "Does Vox want to take back that they proclaim that the coronavirus would not be a deadly pandemic? Does The Washington Post want to take back that they told Americans to, 'get a grip, 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 virus?"

From her perch atop the bully pulpit, McEnany did not wait around for replies. It was a "drop the mic" moment. But the point still stands. The mainstream media have printed various misinformed or later-to-be-corrected statements about the impact of COVID-19, mainly because they (like most of America) were still learning about the spread of the virus and its potential public health implications. The president was learning, too, in real-time. The difference is that he is blamed by the media for every statement he makes. If it's true, then it's insensitive, and if it turns out to be inaccurate, then it was a blatant lie.

At this point, it seems that the mainstream media exists solely to refute and oppose anything the president says. Of course, Trump is not perfect. He exaggerates. He makes blanket statements without caveat. And he is known to protect himself to the point of stretching reality. Those who have come to know him and work with him on a daily basis understand his foibles. But they also understand that the president is merely human. He breathes the same air and eats the same food we all do. He has hopes and dreams for his own life and for America that echo our own. Despite his many faults, he was duly elected to lead the country; he has our best interests at heart.

But the media's raison d'etre exists, not in the truth, but solely in opposition. When the president goes left, whether right or wrong, the media goes right. It is as if they have abdicated their roles as fact-finders and investigators and turned into repudiators. This is laziness at its worst. It lacks credibility and betrays an emotional bias that goes to the heart of truth and falsehood. If the media is so readily able to embrace falsehoods merely to combat the president, are they not just as guilty of the betrayal of truth they accuse the president of committing?

Perhaps the most cynical media iconoclasm centers around the seeming glee some pundits take in the tanking economy. It is almost as if they embrace forced closings and their devastating economic effects as the welcome price of ridding the country of Trump. Forget about the folks who are suffering. Forget about working mothers with children out of school and nowhere to go. All these pundits have to do is show up at their laptops and type away from the cushy surroundings of their high-end condos. But they aren't forced to make the hard choices of laying off workers or letting crops rot in the field. For them, reopening the economy is synonymous with losing the political battle.

We all want a free press that is able to question the official line. As a media pundit and commentator, I often question the president's approach. But it bears asking whether a press is truly "free" when it is bound by its preconceived notions of truth and falsehood. Perhaps ideological constraints on fairness and objectivity devalue their roles as the investigators and revealers the founders imagined when they enshrined the First Amendment.

(16) comments

DeftCurmudgeon

I for one immensely enjoy Kayleigh's daily curb stomping of those self important media douchnozzles.

bootsielawson

Bill Maher called it when he wished for a recession. Anything to get rid of President Trump. We see it in the dumokkkrat states. But it's backfiring. we are not dead beats looking for a handout! Trump 2020

prodigalson

Amen to that Bootsie! Great post!!

prodigalson

This is an excellent column. The Demokkkrats and left wing media want the death toll from The Chinese Flu to be as high as possible. They want for the entire economy to be shut down, with businesses, vacation spots, restaurants, movie theaters, and particularly houses of Christian worship shuttered permanently. Notice how they keep moving the goalposts for re-opening. First of all, we were told that we needed to remain shut down until we had "flattened the curve", then when the curve began to flatten, we were told that we needed to remain shut down until "everyone can be tested", then now, we are being told that we need to remain shut down until "a vaccine is available". At the end of the day, the Demokkkrat party and their allies in the media want for all Americans to be just as miserable as they are, and they want us all to be fully dependent upon government for our basic needs, just as they are. They hate President Trump and want to see him defeated, not because of his brash style, his sharp tongue, etc. They want hate President Trump and want to see him defeated because he represents, and is fighting for, those of us who actually work and pay the bills, those of us who are proud to be Americans, and those of us who believe that our allegiance is to God rather than government. The Demokkkrat party is pure evil, and needs to be destroyed.

Driller

Pretzelman Jr. aka Prod, You again are showing you stupidity, I can't describe it any other way. Do you think Democrats don't have businesses, don't enjoy vacations, don't enjoy going out to eat, don't enjoy going to the movie, don't enjoy going to church and don't work and pay taxes? Do you think the "Virus " is only hurting the Republican'ts? Who is running the Country? Dr. Trump was the "Total Authority" only he can fix it. Then when the "Virus" got ahead of him, he said he would let the Governors take over. Dr. Trump said he doesn't take any responsibility for what happens. Who was saying we have to shut down until we flatten the curve? Dr. Trump and his experts at his Task Force Meetings. Do you remember Dr. Trump and Mr. Pence saying listen to the 15 day and then a 30 day plan to slow down the "Virus". Then they bragged how Americans following their plan slowed the "Virus" down. The Democrats have no influence on Dr. Trump and his policies and definitely don't want anything to do with his prescriptions. Inject, Inject, inject. I hope you are not as stupid as you let on when you say the Democrats want everybody to be miserable. Being Memorial Weekend let's remember the one's who have sacrificed for this Country to protect it. You may be a proud American, but you weren't proud enough to serve and defend the Country. Lets gather up the Saudi Arabian Republican't Party that didn't serve in the military and protect the Country and destroy them. Prod, your Royale Saudi Brothers have killed many Americans on 9/11 and have showed their evil and by your logic because they are evil therefore you are evil.

prodigalson

Thank you once again Harvey Driller Hunter Mother Superior, for your kind words. Stay safe, my brother.

bishopsboy

Dearest WV Olga, please put flowers on the graves of all your buddies today who took a bullet in Vietnam while the man you're going to vote for in November (Joe "Asthma" Biden) was drinking Mai Tais on the beach and groping little girls thanks to his "medical disqualification" from the draft. [ohmy]

DANT

Great post bishopboy!

bishopsboy

Thank you, DANT.

prodigalson

Great post indeed Bishop!

DANT

Actually driller you are the one showing your ignorance and misinterpretation of what prodigalson is saying....Democrats are evil and would do (anything) including sitting at home waiting for the gubmint to send them another stimulus check while watching the economy tank. In their warped minds they think this destruction will somehow bring down President Trump and regain power for them. To the Democrats sacrificing a summer vacation, or missing a few outings for dinner is well worth it. They are so hate filled and jealous of President Trump they would stand by and watch their neighbor lose everything believing it was for a good cause. Fortunately for us hard working, America loving, freedom loving, fake news savvy, Repulicans their plan is backfiring in a big way and President Trumps excellent leadership and up front honesty has opened the eyes of many moderate Democrats and many minority voters as well! I see a landslide victory for President Trump again in Nov.

LVW

I don't know any Democrats that fit the description that either prod or Dant is using, and the phrase "up front honesty" has never been, nor ever will be, used to describe Donald J. Trump.

prodigalson

I agree Dant. Great post!

DANT

Once again driller you are the one showing your ignorance and misinterpretation of what prodigalson is saying. The Democrats are evil and believe sitting at home waiting for the gubmint to send them another stimulus check while watching the economy tank is a noble undertaking. The Democrats think sacrificing a summer vacation or a few missed restaurant meals is well worth it if means bring down President Trump. They are so evil they would stand by and watch their neighbor lose everything just so their party could regain control of the White House. Fortunately, for us hard working, America loving, freedom loving, fake news savvy, Republicans their plan is backfiring in a big way. A large number of moderate Democrats and minority voters are seeing the radical Democrats for what they really are and have now boarded the Trump train....can you blame them? President Trumps excellent leadership and up front honesty, especially during this pandemic, has won many non supporters over to his camp. I predict another landslide victory for President Trump in Nov.

bknjholl

Arguing with himself he is...

Note that the media find and correct their mistakes. The Trumpers, not so much.

When dealing with alternative truth, the media struggles along with the rest of us. So much spaghetti sauce to clean up before you can see the wall...

DANT

bknjholl, media find and correct their mistakes?......hahaha what planet are you living on! The fake news media never corrects itself until they are called out for their misinformation and out right lies and even then the corrections they make come with accusations of how it wasn't their fault! President Trump has proven his genius by exposing the corruption within the fake news outlets and the Demonrat party and yet many are still going over the cliff like the good little lemmings they are!

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