We're fact-checking Cooper v. Conway: We expect to spend the day fact-checking this week's Wednesday night fight.
We refer to last evening's dispiriting battle between CNN's Anderson Cooper and Donald Trump's Kellyanne Conway.
To watch the tape of the fight, click here. The full interview lasted 25 minutes. Broken into chunks, it ate up most of Cooper's 8 PM hour.
Cooper and Conway were debating the accuracy of a Tuesday report by CNN. This is the way last night's battle got started:
COOPER (1/11/17): At today's press conference, [Trump spokesman] Sean Spicer conflated unsubstantiated claims that BuzzFeed released with what CNN reported [on Tuesday]. And I was surprised by that, because he said BuzzFeed and CNN made the decision to run with the unsubstantiated claim.That chunk of transcript shows you how last night's battle started. As best we can tell, three things have already happened:
That's simply not true. I mean, what CNN said is that CNN is not reporting on details of that memo, as it is not independently corroborated the specific allegations.
Do you acknowledge here and now that CNN did not release the 35-page unsubstantiated claims against Donald Trump and it was misleading and untrue for Sean Spicer to suggest otherwise?
CONWAY: No, our incoming press secretary, Sean Spicer, was exactly right, as was the president-elect, Anderson. CNN went first yesterday and BuzzFeed went second.
COOPER: We didn't report what BuzzFeed reported.
CONWAY: I didn't say that you did, but you linked to it in your story.
Things which have already happened:Toward the end of his hour, Cooper devoted one segment to a discussion of this dispute. This discussion featured CNN personnel only. Whatever one thinks of Conway's performance, we thought the CNN personnel got way out over their skis at times.
1) Cooper has offered a fuzzy paraphrase of whatever it is Spicer said.
2) Cooper has asked a two-part question, making it easier for Conway to give him an answer she liked.
3) Conway seems to have made an inaccurate claim ("you linked to it in your story"), though we aren't yet completely sure about that.
Skill levels sometimes seemed low. In fairness, this shouldn't be completely surprising given the peculiar behavior these stars are now confronting.
Conway is so central to one branch of Trumpism that it might as well be called Conwayism. We expect to explore the culture of Trumpism next week.
Tomorrow, we'll finish our report on The Selling of Greta Van Susteren. Just in terms of depression abatement, on how many consecutive days can you ask a sensible person to discuss the sales job a certain unnamed cable star dumped on our heads last week?
("Greta is great! She is!")
For the transcript of Cooper's 8 PM hour, you can just click here. You'll be seeing the headlong unraveling of our failing political culture, which enters, on that videotape, into Full Babel Mode
The process which produced last night's "discussion" has been underway for 25 years. Whatever your preferences, make no mistake:
Our liberal world has played a key role in this ongoing, gruesome process.