Malacandra.me

“I would never kill reporters”

"I would never kill reporters"

by digby


Remember this?


Aaaand this:

Hitting the Sunday morning shows, Trump’s senior adviser Kellyanne Conway sought to downplay the fracas while highlighting what she called the president’s “unfair” treatment.

“I don’t think, ultimately, presidents are judged by crowd sizes at their inauguration. I think they’re judged by their accomplishments,” Conway said on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” before going on to say, “I think it is a symbol for the unfair and incomplete treatment that this president often receives.”

She also tried to defend press secretary Sean Spicer, who called reporters to the White House briefing room on Saturday night to accuse the media of "deliberately false reporting," while delivering a statement on crowd size that was riddled with inaccuracies.

When asked by NBC’s Chuck Todd on "Meet the Press" why Spicer used falsehoods during the statement, Conway offered an explanation that quickly went viral.

"You're saying it's a falsehood and Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that," she said.


Yes. The "alternative facts" comment was about crowd size.

Spicer has taken heat for his main claim that "this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe," while offering other inaccurate statements including that Trump's was the first inauguration in which white floor coverings were used on the mall. White floor coverings were used during Obama's second inauguration in 2013.

Spicer also used misleading numbers to highlight Metro ridership, comparing essentially half-day statistics for Obama’s last inauguration to longer-day statistics for Trump’s...

Trump even hijacked a speech in front of the Langley Memorial wall at the CIA headquarters that was intended to patch up his relationship with the intelligence community. Instead, he delivered a strongly political speech that exaggerated the inaugural crowd size and blasted the “dishonest media.”

Yesterday, this happened:

President Donald Trump called for a Washington Post journalist to be fired Saturday over an erroneous tweet about his crowd size. The reporter quickly apologized for the mix-up and had deleted the tweet, because that’s generally what you do when you make mistakes. Except when you’re Trump, who has throughout his tenure has refused to back down from even the most obvious falsities. 
Trump fired off a pair of tweets attacking Post reporter Dave Weigel over a “phony photo” of an empty arena ahead of his Friday rally in Pensacola, Florida. “Packed house, many people unable to get in. Demand apology & retraction from FAKE NEWS WaPo!” he wrote
In a separate tweet, he asserted Weigel should be fired.
Yes, the man who has lied repeatedly about his (crowd) size wants a reporter fired for a quickly corrected tweet on his personal account. But then Trump is all about getting reporters fired.


Someone on twitter reminded me of this:

Putin to Bush: You Fired Dan Rather

By Dan Froomkin
Special to washingtonpost.com
Monday, February 28, 2005; 11:43 AM

President Bush may try to manipulate, work around and undermine the American press -- but he certainly doesn't have as much control over the media as Russian President Vladimir Putin apparently thinks he does.] 

In an odd exchange during the private meeting that preceded their joint news conference on Thursday, a defensive Putin reportedly expressed his belief that Bush fired CBS News anchor Dan Rather.

Richard Wolffe writes in Newsweek: "It was meant to be a heart-to-heart: just the two presidents and their translators, sitting alone inside the historic castle that overlooks the Slovak capital of Bratislava. Four years earlier, in another castle in Central Europe, George W. Bush looked Vladimir Putin in the eye and saw his trustworthy soul. But what he saw inside Putin last week was far less comforting. When Bush confronted his Russian counterpart about the freedom of the press in Russia, Putin shot back with an attack of his own: 'We didn't criticize you when you fired those reporters at CBS.' 

"It's not clear how well Putin understands the controversy that led to the dismissal of four CBS journalists over the discredited report on Bush's National Guard service. Yet it's all too clear how Putin sees the relationship between Bush and the American media -- just like his own. Bush's aides have long feared that former KGB officers in Putin's inner circle are painting a twisted picture of U.S. policy. So Bush explained how he had no power to fire American journalists. It made little difference. When the two presidents emerged for their joint press conference, one Russian reporter repeated Putin's language about journalists getting fired. Bush (already hot after an earlier question about his spying on U.S. citizens) asked the reporter if he felt free. 'They obviously planted the question,' said one of Bush's senior aides." 
John F. Dickerson writes in Time: "George Bush knew Vladimir Putin would be defensive when Bush brought up the pace of democratic reform in Russia in their private meeting at the end of Bush's four-day, three-city tour of Europe. But when Bush talked about the Kremlin's crackdown on the media and explained that democracies require a free press, the Russian leader gave a rebuttal that left the President nonplussed. If the press was so free in the U.S., Putin asked, then why had those reporters at CBS lost their jobs? Bush was openmouthed. 'Putin thought we'd fired Dan Rather,' says a senior Administration official. 'It was like something out of 1984.' "

Yeah well, we've moved way past "1984". We're in "Brave New World "territory now.