Like all despicable women in politics, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany knows how to weaponize half-baked feminist rhetoric for her own cowardly benefit.
During a Tuesday morning interview on Fox and Friends, McEnany took a moment to reflect on the trials of being a woman propaganda piece for the President of the United States, which sometimes entails being questioned by a reporter for Playboy.
“If you’re a female woman in the Republican party who takes that podium, guess what your worry is: having a Playboy reporter shout questions at you—demeaning misogynistic questions—during a briefing,” McEnany said. “It’s a double standard, it’s one that’s ridiculous, and one that the White House Correspondents Association should look into...”
McEnany was referring to Brian Karem, a White House reporter for the legendary men’s lifestyle and nudie magazine. McEnany’s attempt to invoke second-wave feminist ire and the culture wars of yesteryear might move those who have a kneejerk reaction to mentions of Playboy, but unfortunately for McEnany, being asked questions you don’t care to answer is not misogynistic.
McEnany’s grudge against Karem isn’t new—he has shouted questions at her regarding the Trump administration’s dismal covid-19 response and her reluctance to wear a mask in the past. But the most recent incident she was likely referencing during her Fox and Friends interview occurred during a November 20 press briefing. McEnany called on only a handful of reporters in the first White House press briefing since early October, leaving several journalists in the room outraged. This included CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, who McEnany sneeringly referred to as an “activist” before vacating the podium.
While this occurred, Karem asked a retreating McEnany if she understands the definition of “sedition” and whether she acknowledges that President Trump lost the 2020 presidential election (despite his adamant denial).
Yes, Karem shouted. So do all of the other reporters in the room. The only difference is that Karem works for a magazine better known for its lecherous founder and nude centerfolds than its politics and culture writing. Whether McEnany likes it or not, Karem’s employer doesn’t negate the legitimacy of his questions, nor does it absolve McEnany from taking those questions seriously.
Karem responded to McEnany’s comments on Twitter. “Speaking truth to power is not misogyny,” Karem wrote. “You work for a misogynist. Your briefings are propaganda. You failed the American people who pay your salary. You’re sore because you can’t answer questions honestly.”
He added that the White House Correspondents Association is not at the disposal for people like McEnany to police reporters.
“A professional in your position should know how the system works,” Karem wrote. “You should be more worried about The Hatch Act and being investigated for sedition.”