Maddow slimes Dr. Birx: Friday afternoon's White House press briefing was a genuine lollapalooza.
At the start of the event, President Trump came storming out to insist that churches reopen. He threatened to override any governor who tried to stand in the churchhouse door, failing to say on what authority he thought he'd be able to do so.
The president stormed away after roughly two minutes. At that point, Kayleigh McEnany praised the president for his brilliant remarks.
Thirty-five minutes later, near the end of the briefing, McEnany slimed the press with an inane remark about the way they seem to hate religious belief. "And boy," she thoughtfully said. "It’s interesting to be in a room that desperately wants to seem to see these churches and houses of worship stay closed."
To his vast credit, Reuters' Jeff Mason directly challenged McEnany's remark. That said, the dumbest was yet to come.
McEnany then sought, and received, a ludicrous "question" from OAN's half-crazy Chanel Rion. To be specific, Rion asked whether President Trump is planning to pardon President Obama for his Obamagate crimes.
Yes, that's what she asked! Thus emboldened, McEnany ended the briefing with several minutes of snide and stupid remarks. Her condescending diatribe started like this:
MCENANY (5/22/20): I have not spoken to the president about that, but who I did speak to about President Obama and unmasking Michael Flynn were the men and women in this room.From there, McEnany listed five questions the journalists would certainly want to ask. Just in case the reporters are a bunch of visual learners, she had prepared her five questions in a slide format.
I haven’t spoken to him on that specific point. Have spoken to him about the matter generally. And I laid out a series of questions that any good journalist would want to answer about why people were unmasked, and all sorts of questions. And I just wanted to follow up with you guys on that.
Did anyone take it upon themselves to pose any questions about Michael Flynn and unmasking to President Obama's spokesperson?
Oh, not a single journalist has posed that question. Okay!
So I would like to lay out a series of questions. And perhaps if I write them out in a slide format, maybe we’re visual learners, and you guys will follow up with journalistic curiosity.
So, number one...
For the record, yes. As McEnany took her dramatic pause, Jonathan Karl tried to object to her premise. He tried to note that reporting has said that Flynn's name had actually never been masked, and therefore had never been unmasked.
Skillfully, McEnany ignored what Karl was saying and continued with her scolding.
You can read the transcript of the full briefing at this site. You can watch the tape of the full briefing here, with accompanying transcript.
For the record, no—McEnany actually isn't that dumb. She proved that again and again during her time as a CNN contributor.
Presumably, this is the persona she has adopted in service to her new boss. And hallelujah! On Sunday morning, Chris Wallace let McEnany have it, but good, right there on Fox News Sunday.
Wallace berated McEnany up one side and down the other. Reports of this matter have tended to focus on McEnany's one remark questioning the reporters' attitudes about religion. Plainly, Wallace was also battering McEnany for the stupid, condescending list of questions with which she ended her briefing.
The session had begun with Trump the Avenger; it ended with Kayleigh the Scold. That said, the bulk of the session belonged to Dr. Deborah Birx and the unending stream of slides she flashed before the reporters.
By our count, Dr. Birx presented 23 slides, many of which were poorly explained, as part of a 23-minute presentation. She then took a few questions.
That night, Rachel Maddow characterized Birx's presentation in about as phony a way as you'll ever see.
We aren't big fans of Dr. Birx, but Maddow's account of her presentation was absolutely crazy. Assuming MSNBC emerges from its weekend stupor and posts the transcript of Maddow's remarks, we'll show you what she said tomorrow.
Trump and McEnany acted like clowns. Maddow may have topped them. This is where our discourse goes as we split into warring tribes.
Presumably, Maddow's conduct is good for corporate ratings. Throughout the course of human history, such conduct has also been the stuff of our highly tribal species' destructive tribal wars.
We get conned by our stars too! We continue to think that you ought to know that.