A New York Post reporter was accused of having a “mean girl vibe” going on after a video captured her seemingly laughing at an Indian reporter.
President Donald Trump addressed the media on the coronavirus at the White House on Wednesday and India Globe editor Raghubir Goyal was called on. Goyal would ask about U.S.-India relations after first expressing confidence that the medical team the president had assembled would keep America safe.
Reporter Ebony Bowden, who was sitting in a row behind Goyal, was seen laughing as he asked his question with a heavy Indian accent, the immediate perception being that she was mocking him — at least, that’s what social media picked up from it.
Who is that reporter in the green mocking an Indian reporter? I bet she thinks Trump is racist. pic.twitter.com/YtGv32XOUe
— Damon imani🔅 (@damonimani) February 27, 2020
It certainly didn’t help that Bowden, a native Australian, once did a piece on “casual racism” in her home country.
She has written an article on ‘casual racism’. Her own words.https://t.co/2Po0sXnZcl
— Damon imani (@damonimani) February 27, 2020
To be fair, it’s impossible to say what was going through Bowden’s head as she has been relatively quiet about the incident, but the reporter may have been responding to how her colleague more or less dismissed the coronavirus crisis to focus on matters related to India.
Either way, it did appear “unprofessional.”
– She could be laughing at what he is saying (since it’s not related to the subject of the conference)
– She could be laughing at his accent.
I don’t know, you don’t neither, because we can’t read her mind.
The only thing we can say is that it doesn’t look professional.
— Damon imani (@damonimani) February 27, 2020
Trump had just returned from a visit to India, nonetheless, there does appear to be a relevant backstory here.
To offer a little context, Ami Magazine had this to say about Goyal in an August 2017 article:
The fact that Raghubir Goyal has been covering the White House for close to 40 years isn’t all that unusual. It’s not his longevity that’s unusual, it’s everything else about him that is. Goyal is an Indian American who runs “India Globe,” an outlet that for a long time has appeared to either not exist, or doesn’t provide content. But still, as a White House fixture, Goyal doesn’t seem to have a difficult time getting his hard pass renewed every two years.
At press conferences and briefings, Goyal’s questions almost always seem to focus on news relating to India, entirely regardless of what else is taking place in the United States at the time. Very often he’s called on for comic relief, but at other times he’s had an active role in any competent press secretary’s communications strategy.
Bowden was lit up online, but the only response from her thus far has been to thank a friend for coming to her defense.
“Thank you so much, Elliot. You’re a great friend,” she tweeted, in response to a tweet from Elliot Stein, who remarked on “out of context videos” to say he was proud to call her “a close mate and a friend.”
Thank you so much, Elliot. You’re a great friend.
— Ebony Bowden (@ebonybowden) February 27, 2020
The reporter she whispers to in the video, Las Vegas Review-Journal White House correspondent Debra Saunders, did reply to criticism to say she was “responding to something that was said to me,” not rolling her eyes at Goyal.
“I was not rolling my eyes. And I was responding to something that was said to me. Really people, some of you have nothing better to do then troll for grievances, but find something meaningful and real.”
I was not rolling my eyes. And I was responding to something that was said to me.
Really people, some of you have nothing better to do then troll for grievances, but find something meaningful and real. https://t.co/z1MjpHWtd0
— Debra J. Saunders (@debrajsaunders) February 27, 2020
Posting a tweet from CPAC 2020 on Thursday, Bowden appeared to be eager to move on, but as you can see below, social media wasn’t:
Planning on making fun of any Indian reporters while you are there?
— Famed Economist Milton Keenes (@MRobertsG44) February 27, 2020
As for the reaction online, well… it wasn’t pretty. If there was a prevailing theme, it seemed to center on Bowden being a “mean girl.”
Here’s a sampling of the responses from Twitter:
— G Meyer ?? (@OneMinnesotaMom) February 28, 2020
Rude and unprofessional, acting like a mean girl in high school. Your mama didn’t raise you right, hun. https://t.co/81Y6zwMUC2
— CC Marvel (@cc_marvel) February 27, 2020
She definitely has that mean girl vibe going on. Now that this has gone viral she really should suck it up and apologize to the reporter she was mocking. Hopefully she learned something from this exposure of her unprofessional and rude behavior.
— Karin (@snusguri) February 27, 2020
Mocking minorities or people that are not Elite or look like you is Racist! You should be fired! #EbonyBowden
— Don_Vito ? (@Don_Vito_08) February 27, 2020
I haven’t seen an explanation or an apology.
So far, just a thank you to a guy hoping to get laid.
— Harry Callahan (@MakeMyDaySW44) February 28, 2020
Someone who has been told for most of her life that she is right so she knows no better
— Steve Sawyer (@Archangel_06_) February 27, 2020
I noticed the immaturity with a lot of these reporters , think they are uneducated
— Bonnie (@BonBee81) February 27, 2020
It’s more than laughing. It’s the mocking and disdain in her eyes that sets me off. My father is south Asian and this just breaks my heart. It’s one thing to have opinions about other cultures but another to loathe him from behind and show so much contempt. Just for his accent
— PatriotGal (@HDizzle12831349) February 27, 2020
Please make your apologies to Mr. Goyal, the very kind soul you were seen mocking at yesterday’s press briefing.
You were a perfect representation of why people dislike most of the press.
At least try to clean up your superior attitude.
— Mickey D (@mickeydtexas) February 27, 2020
- Inspired by Clapton, Travis Tritt takes a stand for ‘freedom’ and cancels 4 shows over pandemic protocols - October 19, 2021
- Tucker marks Colin Powell’s passing by citing the meritocracy America once stood for, and how far we’ve fallen - October 19, 2021
- Passenger dubbed ‘Airplane Karen’ brings her own microphone to launch into midflight pandemic rant - October 19, 2021