For at least one White House reporter, the recent departure of former President Donald Trump appeared to provide some profound psychological relief.
Yahoo correspondent Brittany Shepherd compared ex-White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany to a “really bad ex-boyfriend” in a statement praising the Biden administration as a “refreshing” change.
“Nonstop national emergency”
According to the Washington Examiner, Shepherd made her incendiary remark during a recent CNN interview.
McEnany, who joined the Trump White House toward the end of the term, quickly attracted praise from Trump and his base for her combative approach to White House press corp journalists.
Critics, on the other hand, accused her of fueling animosity and even spreading disinformation from the White House press room podium.
Now that Trump is gone, some reporters say they are coming to terms with the supposed abuse they sustained by attending briefings led by McEnany, including CNN’s Jim Acosta, who called the White House’s treatment of the press a “nonstop national emergency.”
For her part, Shepherd used a failed romance as her analogy.
“It’s very refreshing”
“We were getting essentially abused by Kayleigh for so long, or at least she was calling us fake news and inciting her followers and followers of the president to not only harass us online but obviously go to deadly ends for some people with death threats,” she told CNN host Brian Stelter.
Of course, she is much more receptive to the style of President Joe Biden’s press secretary, Jen Psaki.
“Now we have Jen and the entire Biden team,” Shepherd said. “It’s very refreshing.”
Nevertheless, Psaki is facing her own backlash — even from some in the progressive mainstream media. Early evidence indicates that the Biden White House has been screening questions from reporters, belying the administration’s vow of transparency.
Shepherd tacitly acknowledged that the Trump administration was more open with the press than Biden, concluding: “They like to keep a tight leash on their principal so he doesn’t come out in front of the camera and gaffe. It is really manicured and it’s veneered. … Something Trump did give us was the ability to kind of ask him unvarnished questions. Of course, we would get ridiculous and crazy answers, but we knew what his perspective was at all times.”