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Shut It Down, Kayleigh McEnany Has Delivered the Worst Oscars Slap Take Imaginable

Kayleigh McEnany looks tense while speaking form the White House briefing room

On a day like today, it takes a lot to have a take so bad it can easily be called the #1 worst. So congratulations to Kayleigh McEnany for taking home the title.

Speaking on the Fox News show Outnumbered, McEnany and her co-hosts condemned Will Smith for slapping Chris Rock during the Oscars, and also criticized the support he saw from one or maybe two progressive Black lawmakers, who they appear to be using as a stand-in for the entire “radical left.”

Rep. Ayanna Pressley tweeted and deleted a “shout out to all the husbands who defend their wives living with alopecia in the face of daily ignorance & insults.” Like Jada Pinkett Smith, Pressley has alopecia as well as a shaved head—which was the impetus for Rock’s joke that caused Smith to slap him.

The hosts used that tweet as evidence of the left’s “hypocrisy,” also noting that Smith could only get away with violence because he’s a celebrity. McEnany agreed with her colleagues that “it would be different treatment than it would be for a celebrity.” Setting aside the fact that it would be very weird and unsettling if a non-celebrity rushed the stage of the Oscars in any context (what would they be doing there??), let’s remember it’s McEnany’s former boss who once proudly asserted that “when you’re a star … you can do anything.”

But for McEnany, it’s not just that Smith’s actions are emblematic of “the left’s” hypocrisy and privilege and whatever else. It’s that not enough conservatives are the ones doing the punches. (Or something. Her point was genuinely hard to grasp.)

In what has to be one of the most bizarre false equivalencies in recent memory, McEnany decided the real victim in the Smith/Pinkett Smith/Rock debacle is … Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

The Daily Beast writes:

“Although I think very different scenario when you think too, I could not get out of my head the White House Correspondents’ Dinner from 2018 where Sarah Sanders was so maliciously attacked,” McEnany declared before butchering Wolf’s name. “You had Samantha Wolf or Bee— whatever the heck her name is, Michelle Wolf—going after Sarah Sanders for her appearance.”

She continued: “Minutes long, excruciating detail, and I watched Sarah Sanders sit there with such grace and poise and kindness and sit there and take it. If you are a Republican woman, you have to take it. If you are a celebrity and you engage in this behavior and you’ll have people come to your defense!”

As a reminder, Wolf did not make fun of Sanders’ appearance that night. The only time she mentioned Sanders’ appearance was to say she delivered Trump’s lies while sporting a “perfect smokey eye,” but conservatives immediately attacked Wolf for “humiliating” Sanders and haven’t let up on the lie in three years.

Which also speaks to McEnany’s point (if you can call it that) that no one came to Sanders’ defense, because that’s a very different version of events than the reality. Sure, no one punched anyone (would McEnany have found that preferable?) but a whole lot of people, media outlets, and even the White House Correspondents Association tripped over themselves to condemn Wolf for things she never said. Meanwhile, while Smith is seeing some support, he’s seeing far more criticism and condemnation across the board. But I suppose that doesn’t fit McEnany’s weird narrative.

(image: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) has a lot of opinions about a lot of things. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri with her husband Brock Wilbur and too many cats.