Kayleigh McEnany, President Donald Trump’s Press Secretary, is many things: a Christian woman who fiercely believes in this administration, someone who promotes birthirism, and, apparently, a staunch advocate for Nickelodeon children's programming. In a press conference today, McEnany took time to focus on cancel culture — specifically, the White House’s worries that media about cops is being shut down left and right.
Speaking for President Trump, she elaborated on how worried he is about people’s recent calls to end copaganda and abolish the police. “He’s appalled by cancel culture, specifically as it pertains to cops. We saw a few weeks ago that Paw Patrol, a cartoon show about cops, was cancelled. The show Cops was canceled, Live PD was cancelled. LEGO halted the sales of their LEGO City Police. It's really unfortunate,” McEnany said. Unfortunately for the White House, which has a record of telling some bizarre lies during conferences, Paw Patrol was not in fact, cancelled by Nickelodeon, and even has a movie slated for 2021.
On top of that, LEGO hasn’t actually stopped selling police toy sets, they’ve only stopped actively marketing them. But it begs the question: what are the White House’s priorities and why is this an issue of concern during an official press conference?
Now, the internet is bringing the hammer down on McEnany once again for choosing such a bizarre topic to focus on — particularly when it's blatantly false. While Twitter has pulled out Snopes to confirm this actual fake remark, many pointed out how insensitive McEnany’s concern is to begin with, given that hundreds of thousands of Americans are dying from the pandemic and protests continue to see violent at the hands of federal officers and police. Journalists who witnessed it also couldn't quite put their finger on why it fit in with the rest of the news.
CNN's DJ Judd tweeted about the Paw Patrol mention, saying, "White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters in the briefing room today, despite that a) not being true and b) not being super important! Given the current state of things!"
But this isn’t the first time that Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany has done something like this. She, like her predecessors, has a habit of redirecting the narrative by focusing on inane things President Donald Trump has tweeted about, or things that are completely irrelevant. In recent briefings, McEnany has complained about people choosing to boycott Goya and delved into other rantings from the president’s Twitter timeline.
But perhaps — just hear me out — this is more intentional than one might think. While Paw Patrol became a point of ridicule in the press conference, McEnany's comments regarding Portland protests fell under the radar.
"The Trump Administration will not stand by and allow anarchy in our streets. Law and order will prevail," she said, adding that she "wanted to be real about what is happening" before showing videos of protests in Oregon that framed protestors as reckless, failing to show the violence stoked by law enforcement. The press officer was also questioned about why President Trump has changed his tone around the coronavirus pandemic, and McEnany denied that he has changed the way he’s spoken of it.
Amidst all of the urgent things going on in the world, of course it only makes sense for the press secretary to defend a children's TV show like Paw Patrol to avoid more conversation about the government waging war against its people.