Just yesterday, I wrote about how the daily insanity coming out of the Trump administration is desensitizing us, thus diminishing stories which would have been huge just a month or two ago. Today gave us a classic example via an amazing interview of Trump Advisor Kellyanne Conway by CNN’s Jake Tapper.
There are several elements of this discussion which are newsworthy and at least three of them have already been covered extensively by this website. However, there is at least one other part to the interview which is, at least so far, not getting nearly enough attention.
I am referring to when President Trump‘s biggest defender in the news media admitted that he regularly says things that are blatantly not true while also downplaying the importance of him doing this.
I am not making this up, or even exaggerating. This is exactly what she did. Here is the transcript:
Tapper: I’M TALKING ABOUT THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES SAYING THINGS THAT ARE NOT TRUE, DEMONSTRABLY NOT TRUE. THAT IS IMPORTANT AND ARGUABLY MORE IMPORTANT THAN WHOEVER REACHED YOU AT YOUR DAUGHTER’S PLAY.
Conway: ARE THEY MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE MANY THINGS THAT HE SAYS THAT ARE TRUE THAT ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE’S LIVES?
Here is a video of the key portion, including some extra context:
So let’s review. Tapper couldn’t be more clear that he is asking Conway about Trump’s penchant for making “demonstrably” false statements, and Conway responded by clearly acknowledging that “they” (the falsehoods) exist, while then asking if “they” (Trump’s falsehoods) are more important than “the many” (but far less than “all”) “things that he says that are true?”
I’m honestly not sure which is the most remarkable aspect of all of this: that Conway admitted that Trump lies regularly, that she doesn’t seem to think that this is all that “important,” or that she said this and no one seemed to even notice it.
That’s where we now are, folks. Good job, America.
For the record, I did a tally of the entire extraordinary interview because I found it to be so strange on so many levels. During the 22-minute exchange, here is my count of the number of times noteworthy things occurred:
- Seven times Conway went out of her way to compliment Tapper or CNN (which had allegedly put her on a short “credibility” suspension).
- Six times she said things which, in my opinion, were in the “falsehood” category.
- Seven times she clearly dodged a question or deflected to a different subject.
- Three times she said things which directly contradicted Trump (i.e. several terror attacks on his “list” were not “underreported,” CNN is not fake news, and acknowledging that Trump often tells falsehoods).
Overall, I thought that Tapper did an excellent job under utterly bizarre circumstances. Weirdly, Conway also did about as well as someone can spinning for obviously untenable positions. It’s just that the truth has a weird way of eventually seeping out (often even if few people ever figure it out) and that is exactly what happened today.
Seemingly by accident, the truth that the President of the United States is a prodigious liar was admitted to by his most prominent spokesperson, live on national television. This should be real news, at least until we all get distracted again by Trump tweeting his outrage about the size of the Patriots’ Super Bowl parade being underestimated.
John Ziegler hosts a weekly podcast focusing on news media issues and is documentary filmmaker. You can follow him on Twitter at @ZigManFreud or email him at email@example.com.
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.