The best political public relations professionals work their magic to conjure up grand mythologies for their clients that burnish their image for more digestible consumption by the media and the masses.
Doing so requires some initial credibility both on the part of the spinmeister and of the political product at hand.
Perhaps that’s why the hagiography being peddled by the White House press secretary today rang as believable as, well, the idea that Donald Trump is a pious and religious man.
However, Kayleigh McEnany — or Kay-lie McEnemy to some of her detractors — wasn’t hired to present facts to reporters, but to put a dervish-worthy spin on events that the Trump administration can’t cover-up or completely deny.
Her work today explaining to journalists how the president’s photo-op in front of a White House-adjacent church while holding a bible was a historic event — an event enabled by Attorney General William Barr who ordered heavily-armed police to clear out the area with tear gas to accommodate it — was a dizzying display of pirouetting.
Please suppress your laughter when you read to which historical figures McEnany compares our current president.
“This was a very important moment,” McEnany declared. “I would note that through all of time, we’ve seen presidents and leaders across the world who have had leadership moments and very powerful symbols that were important for a nation to see at any given time, to show a message of resilience and determination.”
“Like Churchill,” McEnany continued. “We saw him inspecting the bombing damage. It sent a powerful message of leadership to the British people. And George W. Bush throwing out the ceremonial first pitch after 9/11 and Jimmy Carter putting on a sweater to encourage energy savings and George H.W. Bush signing the Americans with Disabilities Act planked by two disabled Americans.”
Hope you had a vomit bag handy. Sorry, we should have warned you about that earlier.
Actually, given the collapse of the economy under the second consecutive Republican president, the comparisons with George W. Bush are at least partially apt, if not within the context that the press secretary intended.
Now that you are presumably prepared with a suitable receptacle for the product of any involuntary gag reflexes, feel free to hear the statement straight from the source of disinformation in the video excerpt below.
Here's Kayleigh McEnany comparing Trump's photo-op, which occurred after peaceful protesters were violently cleared out, to Winston Churchill surveying bombing damage and George W. Bush visiting Ground Zero after 9/11. pic.twitter.com/Fj0In7mNrb
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) June 3, 2020
Original reporting by David Edwards at RawStory.
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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.