Should news networks stop booking Kellyanne Conway? | The Tylt
Should news networks stop booking Kellyanne Conway?
On CNN's "Cuomo Primetime," Conway claimed President Trump did not know about the payments until April 2018, when the rest of the public learned of their existence. New York Times fact-checkers dispute this statement, saying it is not only misleading but an outright lie.
Mr. Cohen, Mr. Trump’s former personal lawyer, pleaded guilty in August to breaking campaign finance laws when he arranged payments to two women during the 2016 presidential campaign to keep them from talking about affairs they said they had with Mr. Trump.
Ms. Conway is a counselor to Mr. Trump. Her suggestion that the president did not know about these payments until this year is not credible, given the audio recording, news reports and statements from Mr. Trump’s current lawyer.
American Media Inc., the parent company of The National Enquirer, has admitted that it purchased the story of one of the women, Karen McDougal, to suppress it, prosecutors said this week.
Later during the interview, Conway took umbrage with Cuomo calling the president a liar. Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan believes this kind of behavior should preclude Conway from appearing on news networks.
Perhaps most absurd among Conway’s declarations was her objection to Cuomo’s referring to Trump as a liar, although she wouldn’t repeat the term. “You’re saying he’s not telling the truth. That’s a slur. That’s a slur.”
It may not be pretty to hear, but it’s undeniable: Trump very, very often doesn’t tell the truth. (The falsehood count is over 6,000, says The Post’s Fact Checker.)
No, it’s not a slur to state the facts. But it is a shame to give liars a megaphone.
So it’s time (actually, well past time) for the mainstream media to enter the No Kellyanne Zone. And that goes far beyond banning her, or any particular adviser, from cable interview shows.
The news media continues — even now when it should know better — to be addicted to “both sides” journalism. In the name of fairness, objectivity and respect for the office of the presidency, it still seems to take Trump — along with his array of deceptive surrogates — at his word, while knowing full well that his word isn’t good.
Even Conway's husband has disputed his wife's claims, albeit indirectly.
Conservatives, however, believe Conway is maligned more for her beliefs and successes than for her actions. Jonah Goldberg argued in a 2017 piece for the conservative National Review that Conway is no different than any other politician who sets out to distort the truth in support of their chosen candidate.
[C]avalierly insulting Conway, the first successful female presidential campaign manager, is fine — and calling for her media banishment is the height of journalistic seriousness.
...Here’s a news flash for the news industry: Birds are gonna fly, fish are gonna swim, and politicians are gonna lie. The assumption that Conway is uniquely dishonest strikes me as not only preposterous but irrelevant. If she’s that dishonest, a good interviewer will make that clear to the viewer. Personally, I think Jake Tapper is more than capable of holding anyone’s feet to the fire.
The arrogance is remarkable. The Fourth Estate priesthood thinks viewers can’t see through Conway’s spin, so they must be protected from it. It’s a compliment to Conway and her skills, and an admission of incompetence by the press.
But the more important point is that singling out Conway would strike millions of viewers — and voters — as further evidence that the press changes its standards depending on which party is in power.
Jay Rosen, a professor of journalism at NYU, wrote a January 2017 Twitter thread theorizing why networks continue to book Conway.
The main reason they continue to interview her is to ward off criticism that they are insufficiently Trumpish. They should tell us that!...Another reason to have her on is that it's entertaining to stage these struggles between @KellyannePolls and her interviewers. Conflict!...A third reason is more speculative: She is friendly and charming in the green room. The bonhomie makes them feel good about themselves....As a close reader of @maddow, I know she's frustrated that Republicans won't come on her show. @KellyannePolls will. Means a lot to her.
Some of Cuomo's colleagues at CNN argued about the decision to host Conway on the network. Anchor Brian Stelter said it was important to have Conway on air to "see the hollowness of the White House's arguments." Political correspondent Joan Walsh agreed, saying "She should come on and you expose her lies."