Raccoons are terrorizing the White House press corps

Call it a hazard of the job. Encounters between raccoons and reporters on the White House grounds are becoming a regular occurrence.



a raccoon walking on green grass


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CNN host Alisyn Camerota shared a video of the network’s senior White House correspondent Joe Johns yelling and throwing something at a raccoon on Wednesday morning “seconds before” he turned around and delivered an on-air report.

“Freakin’ raccoons, man,” Johns said. “Again! It’s the second time!”

Also on Wednesday morning, an NBC White House producer shared video of Secret Service agents attempting to “wrangle a raccoon.”

Wednesday was not the first incident of raccoons terrorizing the White House press corps. Last week, CBS News White House correspondent Paula Reid reported that “a raccoon attacked multiple news crews on North Lawn,” having “allegedly grabbed pant leg of a photographer & then a corespondent before being fended off.”

She shared a photo of White House raccoons at a previous date in a press tent. Later, Reid shared a photo of a raccoon trap placed on the White House grounds.

“The curious creatures explored the green enclosures, chased off several journalists and photographers, and one even attempted to chew its way into a backpack. While their presence was considered an inconvenience, they were not the first raccoons to roam the White House Grounds and most certainly will not be the last,” a post on the White House History website said.

The furry mammals are known for their “bandit mask” face markings and causing a nuisance by rummaging through trash cans. They accounted for about 30% of human rabies infections from wild animals in the United States in 2018, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The most famous of White House raccoons was the family pet of President Calvin Coolidge, named Rebecca.

A Coolidge supporter from Mississippi gave the family the raccoon as a pet in 1926 with the suggestion that they eat it for Thanksgiving dinner. Instead, it became a family pet, even making appearances at the White House Easter Egg Roll in 1927.

When the Coolidges

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Raccoons for Trump! Why did the nocturnal beasts attack White House journalists? | Animals

Name: Raccoons.

Age: Typically, raccoons live only about two to three years in the wild because of disease, lack of food, predation, human intervention etc. In captivity, they can live considerably longer.

Fascinating. But presumably we’re not talking about raccoons – the North American mammal, member of the Procyonidae family – in general, but some specific and more newsworthy raccoons? Very specific and very newsworthy. We’re talking about the press-attacking raccoons of the White House.

No way. Go on, what happened? Four of them went for reporters and a photographer, grabbing their clothes as they went about their business on the north lawn.

Another sinister and disgusting attack against the press in the land of the so-called free! You could say. “Strong Pawnee vibes at White House this morning, as a raccoon attacked multiple news crews,” tweeted Paul Reid, the White House correspondent for CBS News. He added that the animals had “allegedly” grabbed a photographer’s trouser leg and had to be “fended off”.

Good thing he said “allegedly” – raccoons are notoriously litigious. Pawnee? The fictional raccoon-infested Indiana town in Greg Daniels’ and Michael Schur’s satirical TV sitcom Parks and Recreation.

Of course. But this is real, clearly political and underhand. They have obviously been trained to make sure the press can’t ask Trump any difficult questions – by any means. Allegedly. Obviously, that has been suggested, many times, amusingly, on the usual platforms. If everything else fails, release the raccoons!

Was Fox there? No, just the four raccoons.

No, silly. Fox News, the conservative, Trump-friendly cable news channel. Oh, I see … Hmm, no, there’s no mention of them being there at the time, actually.

See! Nothing suspicious about that. It’s clearly a plot. Send them in when they’re not there. Destroy! It’s rare for raccoons to attack humans. But they are known for their intelligence, their ability to learn and to remember tasks.

But they’re not noted for their right-of-centre political leanings, are they? Who knows? Maybe they’ve been brainwashed and seeing a journalist scribbling down notes is enough to send them into a frenzy.

Stop it! Do raccoons even pay income tax? That’s not public information, but probably more than Trump does.

Do say: “Did you know that in the 1920s Calvin Coolidge and his family kept a pet raccoon called Rebecca at the White House?”

Don’t say: “Person, woman, raccoon, cameraman, TV crew: Biden, get ’em!”

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