In an interview with Chris Matthews, Kellyanne Conway, while trying to link President Trump’s refugee and immigrant travel ban to a six month period in 2011 when former President Obama slowed down the admittance of Iraqi refugees, said the following:
I bet it’s brand new information to people that President Obama had a six-month ban on the Iraqi refugee program after two Iraqis came here to this country, were radicalized and were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre. Most people don’t know that because it didn’t get covered.
Wow. How could the lying liberal media not cover the impact and devastation of a national tragedy like the Bowling Green Massacre? Thank you for blowing the cover off of this huge cover-up, Kellyanne.
Well because it didn’t happen. There was no Bowling Green Massacre. Seems like a pretty big error to make right? Conway clarified her comments later in an interview on Fox News saying that she “misspoke one word” and “the corrections in the newspapers that are attacking me are three paragraphs long every day.”
Misspoke one word? Is she serious? Misspeaking one word would be like saying “my favorite actor is Tim Cruise” not “Tom Cruise is a great guy and not a high ranking officer in a cult.”
Now I know people have been having fun at Conway’s expense because of her blatant lie, but I am becoming significantly more and more concerned with Trump and his team’s media strategy.
What Conway did was way worse than simply misspeaking. She was actively trying to convince people of something that didn’t happen to further the Trump administration’s narrative of a purposefully dishonest media. Now you can have your opinions on media at large and their intentions (which I think are more influenced by sensationalism and revenue, not a giant liberal agenda) but sowing seeds like this in an already hyper-partisan time is down right dangerous.
In a recent interview, Steve Bannon said that the media “should keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while.” Trump himself supported Bannon’s statements in an interview with David Brody from the Christian Broadcasting Network and agreed that the media is his opposition party. He did say that not all the media was the opposition, like Brody and the CBN, but a large portion of it is.
Even Trump’s Press Secretary Sean Spicer started his very first briefing by not taking any questions and scolding the journalists in the room, accusing them of intentionally misrepresenting the crowd size at the inauguration. He even made the hilarious assertion that it was the “largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in-person and around the globe.”
Their message is clear: “only believe us and the people that agree with us.” That is some autocratic, undermining the legitimacy of the free press type scary shit.