BREAKING: This is your press corps' brain on stampede!


When Kellyanne met Chris:
We just had the great misfortune of watching Chris Cuomo's attempt to interview Kellyanne Conway on CNN last night.

The interview started at 9:02 Eastern. It ran, without interruption, until 9:33.

Kellyanne is always terrible. Arguably, Cuomo was worse.

By the end of the session, the two interlocutors were each speaking, almost completely without interruption, over and on top of each other. Cuomo, whose skin was inordinately thin this night, completely failed to establish control over the conduct of the utterly pointless session.

For CNN's attempt to transcribe this mess, you can just click here. Due to the constant double-talking, the transcript looks like a long, thin, super-experimental effort by e. e. cummings.

Cuomo had only one focus throughout the embarrassing session. He wanted Conway to admit that Donald J. Trump has been "lying" when he says he didn't know about the payments to Karen McDougal and Stephanie Clifford "until later."

Cuomo kept insisting that Trump has been lying about this. He seemed to think it sufficed to say that this is what the Washington Post has said.

Conway didn't agree. She insisted that Trump hasn't been lying, or even misstating, about these matters. And we're only talking about two matters here: 1) the payment to McDougal, and 2) the payment to Clifford.

You'd almost think that, in 31 minutes, the pair of interlocutors could have hashed these two matters out. But Cuomo, in his fury and in the vast incompetence which resulted, never asked Conway to explain her claim that Trump didn't know about the payment to McDougal until later.

With respect to the payment to Clifford, Cuomo seemed to be relying on Glenn Kessler's analysis in yesterday morning's Post. But Kessler seems to be completely confused about the basic chronology there.

What would Conway's position have been had she been forced to explain herself by a competent journalist? We'll guess she would have said this:

The payment to McDougal
Please note. Neither Cohen nor Trump made the actual payment to McDougal. The actual payment to McDougal was made by AMI, parent company to the National Enquirer, apparently in early August 2016. AMI was repaid for the payment by Cohen, apparently in September 2016 (or later). We know of no evidence showing that Trump knew about AMI's payment at the time it was made.

(This doesn't strike us as a hugely significant point. But it's the point Cuomo thundered about all through the embarrassing session.)

The payment to Clifford
Regarding the payment to Clifford, Conway seemed much clearer on the basic chronology than Cuomo did. As far as we know, there is no evidence showing that Trump knew about this payment at the time it was made. Kessler seems to be completely confused about the basic chronology—but then, so does the bulk of the mainstream press.

For ourselves, we don't know what Donald Trump knew at any particular point in time. As long as journalists behave the way Cuomo did last night, there's little chance anyone will ever find out, absent legal proceedings.

Kellyanne is always terrible; Cuomo's absurd performance last night may have been even worse. Kessler has completely lost the thread of the chronology regarding the payment to Clifford.

This is your press corps' brain on stampede. It's a pitiful sight.

Tomorrow: Has Lanny ever spoken to Michael at all? Excerpts from the transcript of Anderson Cooper's session with Lanny Davis


  1. You're just too good to be true.

  2. Has Somerby heard that Michael Cohen asserted, under oath, that Trump directed the payments...yadda yadda yadda.

    Apparently that doesn't constitute evidence. And Cohen, whom Somerby once recommended for the nation's highest award for silencing Stormy Daniels, has now been moved into the 'grifter' column. And you know those grifters and their way with the truth!

  3. And recommending him for a high award was like totally serious, dude. Anironic to the max.

    1. I'm glad you know when he's being ironic and when he isn't. Is he ever not being ironic? If so, how can you tell?

    2. I can't always tell. This one example seemed obvious, though.

      In the early days of blogging, TDH was indispensable. Bob shared insights not available elsewhere. Now he's a bitter old crank.

  4. @imp
    Somerby may have been exaggerating about the honors to Cohen, but he was clearly praising him for trying to shut up Stormy Daniels. (Unless you think Somerby didn't mean THAT either). Notice he never called Cohen a grifter or associated him with grifters until after Cohen flipped.

    1. The two big threats to human survival are climate change and nuclear weapons. Getting rid of Trump's criminal associates or even getting rid of Trump himself won't help much, because the entire Republican party, supported by concentrated wealth and power, push civilization-destroying policies. The democrats aren't much better, but they may, perhaps, improve.

  5. Why does anyone still try to talk to Conway? Why isn't she being called a grifter?

  6. "For ourselves, we don't know what Donald Trump knew at any particular point in time. "

    Don't you know what he said and what he tweeted? Are you assuming these things are being done without any knowledge of any kind?

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  8. Totally by chance, I happened to switch my TV on during Conway's appearance on Cuomo's show. TDH nailed it - Conway is always terrible, and Cuomo (whose show I have practically never seen before) was as bad or worse.

  9. Nobody cares about any of it, Bob.

    Either Donald The Great will be able to restore American industrial base and end the liberal/neocon imperial overreach - or he won't.

    Either MAGA - or back to the liberal-globalist hell = this is how, in the end, this administration will be judged, Bob. Not by meaningless zombie talking points.

    Even just repeating those talking point, even critically, as you do here, it amounts to accepting the zombie framing. And that's the worst thing you can do; stop doing it, plese.

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