Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany lied on Friday, stating “Paw Patrol,” a Nickelodeon Jr. cartoon that features a police dog, had been canceled as a result of “cancel culture.” The show has not been canceled.
McEnany’s comment, which was made during her Friday White House briefing with reporters, stemmed from President Donald Trump’s apparent dismay regarding the cancelation of various television shows about police.
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“He’s also appalled by cancel culture and cancel culture specifically as it pertains to cops,” McEnany said. “We saw a few weeks ago that ‘Paw Patrol,’ a cartoon show about cops, was canceled. The show ‘Cops’ was canceled. ‘Live PD’ was canceled. Lego halted the sales of their Lego city police station.”
Although “Cops” and “Live PD” were canceled amid protests regarding institutional racism after the killing of George Floyd and the Lego police station set is listed as retired on the Lego website, a Nickelodeon spokesperson told IndieWire that “Paw Patrol” has not been canceled. Though the show’s Twitter account has been relatively quiet recently “to give access for Black voices,” the “Paw Patrol” Twitter account and Nick Jr. tweeted on Friday that the show has not been canceled.
While McEnany’s lie about the status of the animated children’s dog show was innocuous compared to other statements made via the Trump administration in recent press briefings, such as when the president baselessly promoted chloroquine as a COVID-19 treatment, the lie overshadowed more worrisome elements from the press secretary’s Friday briefing.
Yahoo News national correspondent Alexander Nazaryan tweeted an excerpt from McEnany’s Friday briefing that showed the press secretary wordlessly shuffling papers while footage of violent protests in Portland played in the background. The footage was aired early in McEnany’s briefing, which began with the press secretary describing Portland as a state of lawlessness and anarchy that was being ignored by Democrats and members of the media, while “rhetoric of the left” undermined the justice system.
While select protests throughout the nation, including some in Portland, have turned violent, the vast majority of recent protests regarding widespread police brutality and the killing of Floyd have been peaceful. American law enforcement organizations have been criticized over the last two months for their violent responses to the protests, and numerous police officers have been recorded attacking journalists and bystanders alike. Through McEnany and sometimes directly, Trump has denigrated peaceful protestors as violent criminals or terrorists and has made comments that have been perceived as encouraging violent responses to protestors.
Portland has been subject to considerable media attention recently due to Trump sending in federal officers to detain protestors. The federal officers do not identify themselves, have thrown protestors into unmarked cars without stating a reason, having probable cause, or obtaining warrants, and have operated in areas where they do not have federal jurisdiction. The state was denied a temporary restraining order against federal agents on Friday.
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