We’re a little more than two weeks into the Trump administration, and while the White House staff can’t figure out how to turn the damn lights on, President Bannon is clearly calling all the shots, and the wheels continue to fall off the Trump administration in other ways, it’s also dealing with credibility issues.
I think that many of us were afraid that Donald Trump and his staff would continue to be able to get away with lying — as they did in the campaign — but there are suggestions that the mounting lies may be starting to catch up with them. That’s not obvious if you watch Fox News — where they claim that all of the liberal protests are not only violent, but that George Soros is paying millions of protesters — but Fox News only serves a small percentage of the overall electorate. Besides, while Donald Trump loves the coverage he gets from Fox News, he doesn’t really give a sh*t about them. Based on his Twitter feed, we know what he reads and watches — The NYTimes, The Washington Post, and CNN — and those are the organizations he doesn’t want to admit he’s desperate to have respect him. He’s old-school. Those are the old-school media institutions. And increasingly, they’re not only ignoring the lies, but using them as punchlines.
Aside from Sean Spicer and that brilliant send-up Melissa McCarthy did of him over the weekend, the biggest problem seems to be Kellyanne Conway. Last week, Trump decided he’d freeze out FAKE NEWS CNN. I’m not sure what he meant by “freeze out,” but over the weekend, the Trump Administration offered Mike Pence to all the Sunday morning news shows, except for CNN. He offered them Conway. CNN declined to have Conway on, citing her lack of credibility.
Upside? CNN was also the only network who got any legit news out of the Sunday morning rounds, because Pence spun bullshit on all the networks, while Mitch McConnell offered some pushback soundbites on Trump on CNN.
However, being declined by FAKE NEWS CNN over credibility issues is embarrassing for the administration, and especially for Conway herself, who took to Twitter to refute suggestions that she’d been rebuffed.
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
CNN denied that Conway didn’t offer, again citing credibility issues, and MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski — co-anchor of the conservative MSNBC show, Morning Joe — suggested that CNN was not the first to reject Conway.
Seems like CNN’s word against Conway’s, huh? Who are you going to believe? CNN, or the woman who made up a mass killing? Of course, Conway’s line all last week, after she was humiliated by social media, was that making up the Bowling Green Massacre was an “honest mistake.”
But was it? Because according to Cosmo, it’s not the first time Conway “misspoke.”
But in an interview with Cosmopolitan.com conducted by phone days earlier, on Sunday, Jan. 29, Conway used the same phrasing, claiming that President Barack Obama called for a temporary “ban on Iraqi refugees” after the “Bowling Green massacre.” (The quotes did not appear in either of two stories recently published on Cosmopolitan.com.)
“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.”
Apparently, she did cite the Bowling Green Massacre a third time, as well, with TMZ.
Even when trying to restore her credibility, Conway ends up damaging it even further. Nobody is talking about how good she is at her job anymore, as they were two and three weeks ago. And if Conway can’t get on CNN or MSNBC, it won’t be long before other outlets join them, or before outlets stop airing Sean Spicer’s news conferences without fact-checking them first.
The Trump Administration will always be able to lie, but it’s going to get a lot more difficult for them to disseminate the lies to the masses. That is going to plunge Trump’s numbers even lower. And as we know, the only thing Trump cares about are his approval ratings. He’s going to have a helluva time improving them if he can’t get access to the country beyond Breitbart and Fox News.