A Capitol Hill reporter dared to shame the Gold Star family of a Marine who was killed in the terrorist attacks at the Kabul Airport last month. Apparently, the reporter snitched on the family while they were laying the Marine to rest last week.
Politico’s co-congressional bureau chief, Heather Caygle, wrote on Twitter, posting a photo of Representative Tom McClintock (R-California) with the family in the U.S. Capitol Building with an accompanying caption that read:”Masks requirement in the House. Tours not allowed. Yet here we are — group of 9, only 2 in masks,”
Yeah, she went there.
McClintock was giving a tour of the Capitol to the family of Marine Sergeant Nicole Gee, as she was among the 13 American service members who had been killed by the suicide bombing at the Hamid Karzai International Airport during Biden’s disastrous military withdrawal from Afghanistan.
After several reporters pointed out to Caygle that this was a Gold Star family, she doubled down and said, “How does that exempt them from wearing a mask?”
Another Politico congressional reporter named Katherine Tully-McManus defended a colleague by writing a tweet that read, “The classic dilemma: a member escorts in a tour, clearly not ‘official business,’ Capitol Police are not empowered to enforce much of anything when it comes to members. No one is enforcing masks. (See: members cursing out USCP at House chamber metal detectors when they try).”
However, this Politico reporter was immediately corrected by Michelle Perez Exner, the communications director for House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy.
Exner noted that “This photo was of @RepMcClintock and the family of fallen Marine Sgt. Gee. They were in the Capitol for an official meeting with @GOPLeader. So, yes, it was ‘clearly official business.'”
Tully-McManus did give in a little; she wrote an “addendum/clarification” where she herself even admitted that yes, this was indeed a Gold Star family and they were indeed simply conducting official business by meeting with McCarthy.
Of course, Twitter had some massive blowback to Caygle snitching on the Gold Star family for not wearing their mask.
Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) shined a light on the hypocrisy, “On Tuesday, @SpeakerPelosi was hugging and shaking hands with over a dozen people without a mask. Not a word was reported from this journalist who is now smearing a Gold Star Family on a Capitol tour so far away she had to zoom in.”
Representative Jeff Duncan posted a photo of Democrats who had been practicing the social distancing, nor were they wearing masks. He asked, “Does seeing people not wearing masks trigger you? If so, (trigger warning).”
Representative Virginia Foxx sent a mocking reply, “Look, an opinion from a D.C. journalist that nobody asked for. Attacking @RepMcClintock for spending time with the family of Sgt. Gee is pathetic. Sit this one out.”
Conservative commentator Matt Walsh said, “The family of a fallen Marine get a tour of the Capitol and @heatherscope publicly shames them for not wearing a mask. This is psychotic behavior.”
Erielle Davidson, senior policy analyst for JINSA, wrote, “A reporter picking on a Gold Star family for being maskless in a WIDE EMPTY space is precisely why people despise the media. They’re vultures.”
Fox News contributor Lawrence B. Jones III called her a “Karen” and sarcastically offered “thoughts & prayers” to the reporter.
Townhall senior writer Julio Rosas noted, “Another example of why Americans hate the media so much, and rightfully so.”
Townhall managing editor Spencer Brown slammed Caygle, “Going full COVID Karen on a gold star family who lost their loved one in the suicide attack outside HKIA is quite the look.”
Political consulting firm president Ellen Carmichael said, “Irrespective of the heartbreaking backstory behind this photo, the purpose of this tweet was to embarrass this family and/or the GOP congressman with them. People break rules all the time. This is narc’ing with a purpose. Not cool.”
Sergeant Gee was just 23 years old when she had been killed in Afghanistan by this suicide bomber. It was a mere six days before her death that she shared a photo on her Instagram where she was cradling a baby with the caption, “I love my job.”
Gee was from Roseville, California, and they laid her to rest in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia on Wednesday.