Kayleigh McEnany is the new White House Press Secretary having succeeded Stephanie Grisham earlier this April. She's off to a terrific start, criticizing the World Health Organization for "repeating inaccurate claims peddled by China during the coronavirus pandemic," finding new, inventive defenses for Trump's suggestion that ingesting disinfectant to kill coronavirus might be a solution worth examining, and for falsely asserting that the United States has developed the most expansive testing in the world.
It's a lovely first month on the job, and it's sure to earn her the biggest, most beautiful, really, really fantastic gold star from the President himself. McEnany is now the fourth Press Secretary in the Trump White House, continuing the long-standing tradition started by Sean "Twinkletoes" Spicer, of conflating the role of press secretary (explaining policy to the public) and the role of campaign manager (spinning the media narrative). When Trump was rightly met with a mix of anger and befuddlement by the press for his disinfectant comments, McEnany defended him stating, "Leave it to the media to irresponsibly take President Trump out of context and run with negative headlines." When Trump later switched his position by claiming that he was being sarcastic rather than misquoted, McEnany adjusted as well by saying, "Taking a sarcastic comment and running with negative headlines is the definition of taking something out of context, so I believe those answers are very much in sync."
That McEnany is doing more spinning more than the world's entire supply of DJs and cycling classes combined. It has sparked the ire of dozens of publications, ourselves included, but it's also got us thinking. What even is the point of Press Secretary anymore? With Trump tweeting at all hours of the day, those tweets all being public record, why do we need a conduit between him and the media? Right now, the only people who care about the press secretaries are the press. Their insistence on doing weak mealy-mouthed profiles on them has lead to a self trolling loop. Trump says something, then the press secretary spins it in an outrageous direction, and then the press expresses their outrage, same press then gives an "inside look." (Spoiler: It looks just as trash as it did on the outside.)
Before Trump, I couldn't tell you the name of a single press secretary. Now I can list them all off and detail to you each of their styles of press bending. There's Spicer -- the angry one, Sanders -- the droning one, and Grisham -- the quiet one. Can we just stop with McEnany, before the role of Press Secretary is completely "taken out of context" forever?
Top Image: Gage Skidmore/Wiki Commons