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.”
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.
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) July 21, 2020
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.
Thanks for asking @charliespiering … there's a lot of misreporting out there about that briefing. The answer to your question is, I DID NOT. What I said was, "OKAY, YOU DON'T WANT TO ENGAGE." https://t.co/xmu5YR7gXr
— Kimberly Halkett (@KimberlyHalkett) July 21, 2020
In a version slowed down by another user, the additional syllable is more clear — “don’t wanna” can be heard more distinctly.
— Connor Wooten (@CWooten83) July 21, 2020
Longer and clearer versions of the clip also support that Halkett was saying “wanna engage” rather than “lying b****.”
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) July 21, 2020
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.
She says “Okay, you don’t want to engage,” but sure. Don’t let facts get in the way of a narrative. ¯_(ツ)_/¯
— Dave Hancock (@dhancock110) July 21, 2020
I can’t stand the disingenuous press more than anyone else, but I completely disagree here. I believe she clearly says, “Okay, you don’t want to engage”. Listen closely.
— Murray 🇺🇸 (@Rothbard1776) July 21, 2020
Nobody called McEnany a "lying bitch." When McEnany declined to continue responding to follow-ups, the reporter muttered, "OK, you don't want to engage." You don't even need to slow down the audio (https://t.co/apu5EdLI8Y) to hear the correct words clearly. pic.twitter.com/SsDkbojsIQ
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) July 21, 2020
"Okay, you're a lying bitch" is what I heard first.
If I try to listen for "Okay, you don't want to engage" I hear that, too.
Great, it's the blue dress/gold dress all over again. Lol
— Anita Cigrat (@CigratAnita) July 21, 2020
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.
Q Okay, you don’t want to engage.