The White House press corps have always been eager to jump at any opportunity during press briefings. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany usually handles these reporters quite well. However, on July 21st (Tuesday), one of the reporters present made a remark that McEnany did not dignify with a response.
Born and brought up in Tampa, Florida, Kayleigh McEnany graduated from Harvard University. McEnany’s first experience in media was as the producer of Huckabee on Fox News. Later, she worked as a commentator on CNN.
McEnany was appointed as the White House Press Secretary in the administration of Donald Trump in April 2020. Prior to this, McEnany was working as the National Spokesperson for the Republican National Committee since 2017.
We can’t deny that McEnany does a great job of being the Press Secretary of the White House.
The press briefing on Tuesday
On Tuesday, July 21st, McEnany rebuked the critical report of the New York Times on the White House coronavirus task force. The NYT, in their report, attacked Dr. Deborah Birx, the response coordinator of the task force.
McEnany praised Dr. Birx for her dedication towards serving the nation as an Army Colonel. Dr. Brix has also served as an Ambassador to PEPFAR, where she helped people fight against AIDS and HIV in foreign countries. As response coordinator to the coronavirus task force, she has worked rigorously to send out data to the governors. This data has helped the governors of all states make informed decisions to protect their subjects.
McEnany accused the NYT report of being false and questionable. She believed that the NYT should be ashamed for their cruel and baseless attack on the doctor.
In response to Trump’s recent tweet about wearing masks, reporters asked McEnany why Trump did not encourage using masks on social media before. McEnany’s reply to it was that Trump has been consistent in his support of wearing masks for months.
After this, McEnany was walking down the podium when one of the reporters shouted at her to put on a mask. McEnany did not respond to the comment and kept walking.
Who was the reporter?
Brian J. Karem was the reporter who asked McEnany to put on a mask while she was walking down after her briefing.
Karem is the CNN Political Analyst, and a reporter who represents the Playboy magazine at the White House Press Briefing. He has earned a reputation of being quite a rebel against Trump’s administration.
Karem has had many confrontations with the former deputy White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders. He accused Sanders of her inflammatory comments to cover for the president in June 2017. In 2018, he confronted her once again on the policy of the administration of separating children from their parents on the US border crossings.
In an event at the White House Rose Garden in 2019, Karem was engaged in an argument with Sebastian Gorka. Karem started the banter by accusing the conservative social media representatives of being eager for demonic possession. Annoyed by it, Gorka had called Karem a punk and not a journalist.
Gorka is the host on the Salem Radio Show. Before that, he was a deputy assistant to Trump.
It is apparent why the White House finds such journalists problematic because of their ridiculous interruptions in the serious briefings. On that note, the White House Press Office had even suspended Karem’s press pass in August 2019. To block the suspension, Karem filed a lawsuit in the District Court of Columbia, where the decision was ruled in his favor.
Karem took to social media
It didn’t take Karem long to boast about the stunt he pulled off on social media. Soon after the press briefing, he tweeted about his comment to McEnany.
Karem’s radical and exaggerated behavior reeks of being attention-seeking. It disrupts the decorum of a sincere assembly and looks extremely childish.
His action in the recent press briefing begs the question: How does it help the cause?
Is Karem’s way of criticism constructive or useful in any manner? It is about time that press corps reporters like Karem take their jobs seriously, and come together to address issues as severe as the ongoing pandemic.