If you have a spare 25 minutes and don’t mind the prospect of inducing severe psychosis in yourself, sit down and watch Kellyanne Conway lying through her teeth on CNN for the umpteenth time this year.
The ‘interview’ where Brian Stelter essentially gave Conway unfettered airtime to a) not answer any questions, b) spout continuous bullshit, is a prime example of what is wrong with television news and professional political propagandists.
Conway is basically playing a childish game of “I know you are but what am I?”, and CNN has seemingly become powerless to stop her. Instead of engaging with journalists in a meaningful way, Conway deflects every simpleton tactic the White House employs to distract the public from their ongoing scandals by accusing the media of doing the exact same. Trump gets caught lying? CNN is #FakeNews. The White House is using the media to speak directly to their supporters instead of answering questions honestly? CNN is the one doing it by creating television segments that liberals will share on Facebook. The ballsiness of it has to be admired, and Conway is an absolute master of shamelessly claiming black is white, up is down, and left is right. Stelter knew what Conway was doing, Conway knew what she was doing, and furthermore Conway knew that Stelter knew what she was doing and had no way to stop it.
This little charade went on for 25 goddamn minutes, and the country was left worse off than ever before. Trump’s supporters will laud Conway’s appearance claiming she “destroyed” Stelter, and those of us attached to consensus reality just feel sad that despite his efforts to ask genuine questions, Stelter simply helped the Trump administration further their agenda.
One would hope that CNN could figure out how to stop these toxic PR stunts from occurring so regularly. The Trump administration’s tactic of continuously calling CNN #FakeNews has worked to the extent that people are now protesting outside of CNN offices in Atlanta (an amazing achievement given none of the protestors would be able to name a single fake news story CNN had put out). Kellyanne Conway goes on CNN because she knows she can continue undermining trust in the network, and for some reason CNN is happily going along with it.
There is a simple way to stop Conway getting her message out, and that is to stop inviting her on the network. This doesn’t have to be done out of spite — it must be out of professionalism. While The Daily Banter is not a powerhouse news organization like CNN, we would never dedicate time to taking Conway’s point of view seriously or interviewing her for insight into the Trump administration. She is proven, serial liar who gets paid to propagandize on behalf of a president who lies so routinely it is impossible to tell what is true and what is not. Interviewing Kellyanne Conway about the president is like interviewing a spokesperson of a pharmaceutical company and expecting them to provide an objective review of the drug they are selling. It isn’t going to happen, and CNN should not entertain the Trump administration’s game playing for a second longer.
Instead, CNN could dedicate a regular segment to dismantling Conway’s lies on the right wing outlets she frequents — a far better use of their time and a more ethical way of practicing journalism. Trump and Conway are not interested in telling the truth or reaching out to all Americans, they want to destroy CNN and cover their own abhorrent actions in the process. CNN can stop it, but only if they refuse to play their game.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.