White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany doesn’t bother calling on activist reporters during briefings, unless they happen to be reporters working for right-wing news networks.
McEnany’s first presser since contracting covid-19 in early October ended on a terse note Friday afternoon when CNN’s White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins objected to McEnany abruptly wrapping up the briefing.
“I don’t call on activists,” McEnany replied.
“I’m not an activist, and you haven’t taken questions since October 1, and you just took about five, Kayleigh,” Collins shot back as McEnany exited the room. “That’s not doing your job... your taxpayer-funded job.”
While the Trump administration’s disdain for CNN is well documented, the idea that Collins is a left-wing activist rabble-rouser is laughable. From 2014 to 2017, Collins was employed at Tucker Carlson’s right-wing news site Daily Caller where she worked as an entertainment reporter and White House correspondent. Besides, McEnany had no problem allotting One America News’s Chanel Rion an opportunity to ask a question during the presser.
Rion, a covid-19 skeptic and QAnon supporter, once compared America’s alarming covid-19 death toll to the “children who are killed by their mothers through elective abortions each day” during a coronavirus task force briefing.
Rion is not an activist, in McEnany’s mind, but Collins apparently is.
In a tweet following the incident, Collins said, “It’s understandable why someone who hasn’t done their job — taking questions from reporters — in weeks would confuse someone else doing theirs with activism.”
Of course, McEnany’s logic only makes sense if one adopts a Trumpian approach: Activists have the gall to ask questions and refuse to kowtow to the administration’s every decision. Activists are enemy, competent reporters are, thus, the enemy, and enemies are put on the shit list.
Perhaps, then, Collins should take this as a compliment.