Yesterday, January 24th, Trump official Lynne Patton lashed out at April Ryan on Twitter, calling her “Miss Piggy.” But who is Ryan, and why was Patton angry with her?
The pair’s Twitter feud came about when one Twitter user posted a clip of Ryan, a White House correspondent, discussing the Trump administration’s vocal disdain for the media and how it has caused her to receive death threats. Patton, a conservative black woman, dismissed the clip by tweeting that she also receives threats — from other minorities. Ryan responded to Patton’s tweets by calling the Department of Housing and Urban Development official a “fruit loop” and a “washed up wedding planner.” Patton taunted the journalist by referring to her as a “blogger for a bankrupt outlet.”
The nasty exchange culminated with Patton posting a photo of Ryan, which she captioned mocking Ryan’s weight.
Despite Patton’s claims that Ryan is a blogger, she is an experienced and respected journalist. Ryan has been a White House correspondent with American Urban Radio Networks since 1997 and has worked through four presidential administrations.
Patton later deleted the “Miss Piggy” tweet and apologized, but not before outraged Twitter users had seen the tweet and called for her resignation.
Ryan is one of about seven black journalists to serve in the White House Press Corps. And in 2017, she became a political analyst for CNN. She was also named the 2017 Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists.
The Trump administration has long clashed with Ryan. At a March press conference, President Donald Trump asked the journalist to arrange a meeting between him and the Congressional Black Caucus, reportedly asking Ryan, “Are they friends of yours?” And, a few days later, former Press Secretary Sean Spicer snapped at Ryan for asking how the White House would address its image following the accusations that the Russian government had colluded with the Trump campaign during the 2016 election. Current Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also lashed out at Ryan when the journalist asked a question about slavery in November.
Ryan defended herself against Patton’s comments well. But it’s time that we start recognizing successful women like Ryan for their achievements rather than using their appearances to try to undercut their success. We hope Ryan, and other female journalists, continue to ask tough questions and brush off the naysayers.