Journalists are sharing their confusion after multiple reports went back and forth labeling Conan the hero dog as both a boy and a girl dog.
Conan, a Belgian Malinois, participated in the October raid that left Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi dead. The dog was wounded in the two-hour long raid but recovered. Conan was brought to the White House Monday and given an award by President Donald Trump, who referred to the dog as a male.
The White House clarified the dog’s gender later that day and said Conan was a girl dog. Shortly after that, it made another statement and said the dog is actually a male, as Trump had said.
The reports continued Tuesday with Department of Defense officials saying that Conan is, once again, a girl dog. The White House stood by its report that the dog is a boy. Two defense officials also said Conan is a boy, with one noting that they “triple checked” its gender.
Conan’s multiple gender changes by officials spun the media into a frenzy Tuesday, with many tweeting their confusion and updates to the constantly changing story.
“OMIGERD!” Fox News Chief White House Correspondent John Roberts tweeted, noting that the one photo he saw of the dog indicated it is a girl. Roberts added that the photo’s resolution was poor, so the gender was not definitive.
Roberts also joked that there could be more than one Conan dog and that the entire saga is a big conspiracy.
ABC News Pentagon reporter Elizabeth McLaughlin tweeted out the saga, giving people updates on the ever-changing gender of the hero dog after its White House visit.
????UPDATE: Two defense officials have now contacted us to say Conan is *for sure they say* a BOY. One official said they triple checked.
I guess the important thing here is that Conan, boy or girl, is a good dog who did excellent work with the US military.
— Elizabeth McLaughlin (@Elizabeth_McLau) November 26, 2019
Some appeared upset over the mishap, attributing it as another Trump lie.
Washington Post fact check editor and chief writer Glenn Kessler wrote that the White House “once again is covering up a presidential mistake.”
It pays to be cynical in Trump’s Washington –> now DOD officials say Conan is indeed female. The WH apparently once again is covering up a presidential mistake. https://t.co/GHpjZYaDvr
— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) November 26, 2019
“I have been reliably informed that the only way to properly determine sex is through gender identity,” conservative commentator Ben Shapiro tweeted Tuesday. “Conan must therefore bark once for ‘female’ and twice for ‘male.'”
Playboy’s Alex Thomas suggested that it’s “astoundingly easy” to figure out if a dog is a boy or a girl. He suggested someone “just flip the dog over” to end the debate. Thomas also tweeted that maybe Conan should be allowed to “piss on the Christmas tree,” as this could show its gender, too.
“I give up,” CBS News White House reporter Kathryn Watson tweeted.
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