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WATCH: Al Jazeera Reporter Didn’t Call Kayleigh McEnany “A Lying B****” In Audio

A reporter for Al Jazeera has been accused of calling Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany “a lying b****” — but the audio doesn’t support this conclusion. Though the line is muffled by the reporter’s mask, and not spoken loudly, she says that she actually said, “You don’t want to engage.”

Kayleigh McEnany wasn't called "lying B" in audio
[Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]

Breitbart reporter Charlie Spiering shared the muffled audio clip on Twitter, tagging Kimberly Halkett, White House correspondent for Al Jaeera. In the very shortened clip — literally only a second long — it’s very difficult to distinguish what exactly was said.

Halkett responded, though, correcting the record to explain that she actually said, “Okay, you don’t want to engage.” Again, in the very short clip, a listener can hear either version, and confirmation bias may apply.

In a version slowed down by another user, the additional syllable is more clear — “don’t wanna” can be heard more distinctly.

Longer and clearer versions of the clip also support that Halkett was saying “wanna engage” rather than “lying b****.”

On social media the debate is ongoing. Many listeners say that the response is clearly “Okay, you don’t wanna engage,” while others still hear “Okay, you’re a lying b****.” It’s even been compared to the ‘blue dress’ phenomenon, in which an image appeared to be one set of colors to some viewers, and another to others, or the “laurel/yanny” recording, where listeners to a very short sound clip could hear one or the other sound.

Confirmation bias may come into play for listeners who expect one sentence or the other before listening, but in the slowed-down clip, or in the clearest clips, “don’t wanna” is distinctly audible. Notably, the official White House transcript shows the same.

MS. MCENANY: Yes, you’ve gotten two questions, which is more than some of your colleagues.

Yes.

Q Okay, you don’t want to engage.



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