Blatant lies, falsehoods, misstatements, and whatever else you want to call the barrage of “alternative facts” (though please don’t call them that) were a major staple of Donald Trump’s campaign, and unsurprisingly, that hasn’t changed in the weeks of his presidency. It doesn’t matter how much video footage we have, if the press or the people are bringing up something Trump doesn’t like, he and Sean Spicer will continue to say it never happened until we all get dizzy from chasing reality in those circles and eventually pass out. It’s a nonsensical and entirely immature tactic, as well as an infuriatingly effective one.
Along with Trump and Spicer, Kellyanne Conway is dedicated to the “fake it till
you make it people stop asking questions” method. Heck, she’s the one that coined the ludicrous term “alternative facts.” But just as we’re seeing with Sean Spicer and the press’ refusal to take him seriously as a competent liaison to the government, the title of “counselor” is no longer enough to earn Conway the respect that job usually warrants.
Instead, more and more media outlets are calling her out for her lies (rather than folding under the exhausting weight of having to defend reality), and any remaining dregs of credibility are disappearing before our eyes.
First up, Conway tried to refute the idea that that CNN didn’t want her on their show State of the Union.
— Michael Calderone (@mlcalderone) February 6, 2017
Here’s how she responded:
False. I could do no live Sunday shows this week BC of family. Plus, I was invited onto CNN today & tomorrow. CNN Brass on those emails https://t.co/LVOUWIytLK
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) February 6, 2017
To which CNN pulled out the receipts.
. @KellyannePolls was offered to SOTU on Sunday by the White House. We passed. Those are the facts.
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) February 6, 2017
And MSNBC quickly followed suit.
— Mika Brzezinski (@morningmika) February 6, 2017
It sure would look bad if that bastion of “fake news” (as this administration keeps insisting) doesn’t respect Trump’s surrogates enough to even ask them questions, so it makes sense for her to attempt the political equivalent of “no, I broke up with them.” Does anyone actually believe Conway’s version of these events? If so, what could that trust in her words possibly be based in? Certainly not any precedent of honesty. Conway consistently demonstrates an utter disregard for facts, as well as a refusal to accept any responsibility when called out for that lack of facts.
The most recent case in point: When Conway referenced the nonexistent “Bowling Green Massacre” last week, the internet had a field day with her made-up tragedy. Conway responded by basically saying “Hey, we all make mistakes.” Which, yes, we do. It would be nice if she had any sense of personal accountability, because due to the nature of her job, her words (and therefore even “honest mistakes”) carry a lot more weight than most of ours, but yes, sure, a slip of the tongue is human.
But this wasn’t a mistake. It wasn’t a slip-up. It was a repeated attempt to manipulate her audience–the American people–with inaccurate exaggerations and fear. And we know this because Cosmo is now saying Conway used the same phrase in an earlier interview with them as well.
“He did, it’s a fact,” she said of Obama. “Why did he do that? He did that for exactly the same reasons. He did that because two Iraqi nationals came to this country, joined ISIS, traveled back to the Middle East to get trained and refine their terrorism skills, and come back here, and were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre of taking innocent soldiers’ lives away.”
And then The Daily Beast pointed out that Conway said almost the exact same thing in an interview with TMZ that same day.
“President Obama suspended the Iraq refugee program for six months in 2011 and no one certainly covered—I think nobody noticed. He did that because, I assume, there were two Iraqis who came here, got radicalized, joined ISIS, and then were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green attack on our brave soldiers.”
Conway, Spicer, Trump, and the rest rail against “fake news,” yet they appear to be propagating it themselves. At best, Conway is carelessly imprecise with her language–and to be so careless without any deliberate intention would mean she is astoundingly unqualified for her job and dangerous in her position of speaking on behalf of the president. At worst, she’s the verbal equivalent of clickbait–speaking in blatant misstatements designed not to tell any truth, but only to scare and shock viewers into buying into sensationalized rage-baiting.
When she got called out for making up a terrorist attack, she shamed the internet for picking on her after an “honest mistake.” But three repetitions of that attack means she didn’t misspeak, she just got caught in her lies.
Again, how does this administration continue to be so surprised by the idea that we actually listen to what they say and then demand they be held accountable for their words?
(image via screengrab)
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