CNN’s Brianna Keilar spent more than 10 minutes of her broadcast on Friday dismantling the smears she has received from both Fox News and the Trump White House this week.
“Yesterday, White House Press Secretary implied that I am responsible for two police officers being shot in Louisville,” the anchor began. “She is lying to Americans again, and I’ll address that in a moment. But first, I’m not the Brianna that the White House should be focused on right now. Breonna Taylor is.”
After recapping for viewers the devastating details of that police shooting, which left the 26-year-old EMT from Kentucky dead without any of the three officers being held responsible, Keilar said, “The White House wants us talking about racism and the justice system because they use it as a springboard to scare Americans about looting, aided by Fox News running episodes of violence on an incessant loop, that their hearts and minds won’t be able to look past the fear to see injustice.”
This brought her back to the lies that McEnany told about her from the White House press room on Thursday. The press secretary attacked Keilar for calling into question the Kentucky attorney general’s assertion that “mob justice is not justice.” But as the CNN anchor explained, she was highlighting in her comments his “purposeful use of that Trump talking point” equating Joe Biden supporters with the so-called “mob” of protesters.
“That's an appalling statement from Brianna Keilar at CNN,” McEnany said. “Hours later, after this comment was made on CNN, two police officers were shot. This is not justice.”
Keilar proceeded to connect the dots between Tucker Carlson, who she said first took her words “out of context” on his Fox News show earlier in the week, and McEnany who brought them into her official White House press conference.
“Tucker Carlson, whose own company argues that his show is so full of it that viewers shouldn’t be expected to believe what he tells them,” Keilar said, referring to the recent defamation lawsuit that Fox News won by arguing that “given Mr. Carlson’s reputation, any reasonable viewer ‘arrives with an appropriate amount of skepticism’ about the statements he makes.”
“Any reasonable viewer,” she repeated. “But not Kayleigh McEnany. The press secretary left no doubt that Fox News primetime shows are just a propaganda arm for this administration.”
Responding directly to McEnany’s claims, Keilar said, “At no time did I suggest that violence is justice, and I can’t believe I even have to explain that. But the alternative is letting someone like Kayleigh McEnany misquote and manipulate what you say. McEnany, who repeatedly lies to the American people.”
After playing a series of clips in which the press secretary delivered obvious lies about President Donald Trump and the coronavirus to reporters and the public, Keilar cut to video footage of the president “repeatedly encouraging violence” against journalists and others.
“That is not real leadership,” she said. “Real leadership is calm. Real leadership is steady in moments of crisis. It is not hysterical. It is not exploitive. It is not dishonest.”