It’s not often that someone is appointed to a top job in the White House and proceeds to make everyone who’s held that position before them cringe as they see their former career devalued so thoroughly, but Donald Trump has managed to find four people for the role of Press Secretary that perfectly fit that description.
From Sean Spicer’s initial lies about the size of the crowd at Trump’s inauguration to Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ persistent false declarations about anyone involved in the Mueller investigation to Stephanie Grisham’s failure to perform the most basic functions of her job in her 281 days without a single press briefing, the predecessors to the current press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, each diminished the office they held by breaking any bonds of trust with a media corps that has been treated with contempt by the Trump administration because it fails to unquestioningly parrot the easily provable falsehoods issued by the president and his representatives.
While McEnany may at least be capable of conducting a briefing, it took her next to no time to break the vow of truth-telling that she made in her initial appearance before the White House press corps.
The latest press secretary knows that her primary job is not to facilitate communications between the inquiring minds of White House correspondents and an administration more prone to hyperbole than facts but to defend Donald Trump at all costs against all comers.
While McEnany’s take-no-prisoners style may be making her a favorite mouthpiece for Trump, it is winning her few fans among the journalists on the White House beat.
Now a prominent syndicated conservative columnist has taken a public swipe at the press secretary, calling her actions during press briefings “indefensible and grotesque” in an interview on, of all places, Fox News.
Jonah Goldberg was a panelist this morning on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace — one of the president’s least favorite journalists at the Rupert Murdoch-owned cable news outlet — when Wallace played a video clip of McEnany’s combative parrying with reporters over Trump’s ludicrous “Obamagate” accusations in the Michael Flynn case.
Wallace, himself shocked at the exchange where the press secretary tried to dictate to reporters which questions she thought they should be asking, replied to the clip by saying:
“Unmasking is pretty routine. It’s an effort by people in an administration to find out who a masked person is. It happens in the Trump White House. It happened I think 16,000 times the year before last. What’s a crime is leaking it, but unmasking isn’t. In addition to which, I have to say that if Kayleigh McEnany had told Sam Donaldson and me what questions we should ask, that would not have gone well.”
After the host expressed his dismay at McEnany’s antics, Jonah Goldberg chimed in with an unexpected response from a right-wing reporter.
““I think her behavior is indefensible and grotesque. I think that what she has done is — there’s this cliche in Washington that President Trump wants Roy Cohn as DOJ, as attorney general. What Donald Trump wants in a press secretary is a Twitter troll who goes on attack, doesn’t actually care about doing the job they have, and instead wants to impress really an audience of one and make another part of official Washington another one of these essentially cable news and Twitter gladiatorial arenas and it’s a sign of the defining of deviancy down in our politics, and it’s only going to make things worse.”
The Trump administration’s contribution to the decline of journalism is matched only by its massive advancement of the decline of Western civilization as a whole.
It’s nice to see that even some people in the president’s own party are beginning to publicly acknowledge that fact. Wallace himself expressed incredulity at Trump’s mouthpiece’s unprecedented behavior.
"I spent six years in the White House briefing room covering Ronald Reagan. I have to say, I never…I never saw a White House press secretary act like that." – Chris Wallace https://t.co/yyLKQEn45a
— Stephen Hayes (@stephenfhayes) May 24, 2020
You can watch an excerpt of Jonah Goldberg’s comments on Kayleigh McEnany during Fox News Sunday this morning in the clip attached below.
.@JonahDispatch says @PressSec Kayleigh McEnany's behavior is "indefensible and grotesque" and that Trump wants a "Twitter troll who goes on [the] attack, doesn’t actually care about doing the job they have…" in a press secretary. pic.twitter.com/2cPZgVe0c5
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) May 24, 2020
Original reporting by Pam Key at Breitbart.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.