January 22, 2017

I score the 9 round bout — Chuck Todd vs. Kellyanne Conway.



Here's the "Meet the Press" transcript from this morning. Chuck Todd doggedly tried to embarrass Conway over the Press Secretary's statements about the crowd size at the Inauguration. Let's count how many times Todd asked the question and see how Conway fought back every way she could. Todd I think had great material, and Kellyanne had a hard-to-defend position, but she never weakened.

Round 1: Todd begins with a statement that is clearly very well prepared down to the last word:
I'm curious why President Trump chose yesterday to send out his press secretary to essentially litigate a provable falsehood when it comes to a small and petty thing like inaugural crowd size. 
But it needs to be a question, so he tags on: "I guess my question to you is why do that?"

Conway gives a very long answer, pointing to other things Trump did yesterday, the victory in election, the relative unimportance of crowd size (when Todd himself just called it trivial), the general unfairness of the press toward Trump, the high television ratings for the inauguration, the prediction of rain. None of this answers the question, for which Conway should have been prepared. She talks vigorously, but this was pure filibuster. Todd wins Round 1.

Round 2: Todd agrees with her on the point that she actually agreed with him about, the relative unimportance of the crowd size. So why send the press secretary out — the first time the public sees him in action — "to utter a provable falsehood" on this unimportant subject?

Instead of answering the question, Conway goes into offense:
Chuck, I mean, if we're going to keep referring to our press secretary in those types of terms I think that we're going to have to rethink our relationship here. 
What type of terms?! There's no personal insult to Spicer. The negative term — "provable falsehood" — is aimed at the statement, which seems to have been forced on Spicer. Conway's failure to defend the statement now feels like a concession that it was indeed false. She switches to talking about a falsehood that came from the press — the mistaken belief that Trump had the MLK bust removed from the Oval Office. There's a big back-and-forth between Todd and Conway over how bad the MLK mistake was. I'd give Todd Round 2.

Round 3: Todd observes that Conway has still not answered the question. She claims that she did, but she did not. Todd says:
You did not... answer the question of why the president asked the White House press secretary to come out in front of the podium for the first time and utter a falsehood? Why did he do that? It undermines the credibility of the entire White House press office--
Conway gives a schoolyard "No it doesn't," then gets personal against Todd:
Don't be so overly dramatic about it, Chuck. 
As if Chuck's being a big drama queen. And then we get the sound bite of the whole morning, as she attempts, at long last, to refute Todd's idea that it was a "provable falsehood":
What-- You're saying it's a falsehood. And they're giving Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that. But the point remains--
Todd sees the gem he has caused to come into existence and plucks it out to hold in his hand and admire:
Wait a minute-- Alternative facts?
Conway tries to plow on, but he repeats the Conway's terrible phrase:
Alternative facts?... Four of the five facts he uttered were just not true. Look, alternative facts are not facts. They're falsehoods.
Big win for Todd in Round 3.

Round 4: Todd begins again: "So... you did not answer the question... you sent the press secretary out there to utter a falsehood on the smallest, pettiest thing." Conway seems so feisty in the video, and she can talk with vivid confidence through absolutely anything. It's possible to cheer for her. What a woman! Have we ever seen a woman like this before? But in the written transcript, her evasiveness is ridiculous. She gives a vague there-is-no-truth answer:
Maybe this is me as a pollster, Chuck. And you know data well. I don't think you can prove those numbers one way or the other. There's no way to really quantify crowds. We all know that. 
We hear Chuck Todd laughing, and Conway says:
You can laugh at me all you want. 
Chuck Todd mars his performance with the assertion:  "I'm not laughing." Talk about a provable falsehood. He's clearly laughing. He's got good reason, of course, but it is unprofessional. This gives Conway an opening:
Well, but you are [laughing]. And I think it's actually symbolic of the way we're treated by the press. The way that you just laughed at me is actually symbolic of the way-- very representative of the way we're treated by the press. I'll just ignore it. I'm bigger than that. I'm a kind and gracious person. But let me tell you something else, I'm really glad that NBC News and Chuck Todd all of a sudden are so thrilled to cover crowd control because we were mocked daily for talking about the significance of our historic rallies during the campaign. Donald Trump brought in historic crowds to Michigan to Wisconsin, to Pennsylvania, to Florida, to North Carolina. And on great days we were ignored and on most days we were mocked. And those crowds did matter because he built a movement...
This is a good pivot: The press wants to lean hard on the size of the Inauguration crowd, because it's biased, and that is proved by the way the crowds during the campaign were ignored. Conway wins this round.

Round 5: Now, Todd is the one speaking about relationships: "Listen... this is not about us." But he repeats the original question — "what I don't understand is why he's litigating this?" — this time talking about not Spicer, but Trump: "Why stand in front of a memorial at the C.I.A. and talk about crowd sizes?"

Conway responds with her own question — "What else did he say to the C.I.A. though?" — and doesn't wait for an answer. She asserts that he doesn't want to talk about it, then launches into describing the substance of the other things that Trump said at the CIA, the Senate's failure to confirm all the Cabinet nominees, and "lies have been told" about Trump's relationship with the CIA. This leads to a substantive discussion of the CIA, getting away from the still-unanswered question. I'll give this round to Conway.

Round 6: Todd gets back to the question: "Why was it necessary to send out the press secretary on his first day in office to utter a provable falsehood that now calls into question everything the press secretary say-- will say from... here on out... for many Americans?"

Conway says "No it doesn't" and then accuses Todd of pursuing his own political will in selling that message:
You want them to hear that. You want them to hear that I'm not answering your questions, which I'm doing. You want them to hear that they can't trust our press secretary. I think that it is a very--dangerous statement to make.
Todd rephrases his question: "What was the motive to have this ridiculous litigation of crowd size?"

She reacts to the opinionated language:
Your job is not to give your opinion, Chuck. Respectfully, your job is not to call things ridiculous that are said by our press secretary and our president. That's not your job. You're supposed to be a news person. You're not an opinion columnist.
This round is a clear win for Conway.

Round 7: Todd pleads: "Can you please answer the question? Why did he do this? You have not answered it. It's only one question."

Conway takes control:
I'll answer it this way. Think about what you just said to your viewers. That's why we feel compelled to go out and clear the air and put alternative facts out there.
Whoa! After socking Todd on his unfortunate phrase — "ridiculous language" — Conway repeats her own terrible phrase, "alternative facts." Or can she find a way to make the phrase work for her?

Todd paraphrases her statement into a provocative question: "It's a political tactic to come up with alternative facts and try to set up the press as your enemy?"

Conway rejects the move:
No, I didn't say that at all. And that's not why I'm here in this building. I'm here because of all the provable, quantifiable facts, because of the devastation and destruction in our schools with our health care, in our economy, with our small business owners....
This goes on for a while, listing various factual matters as if Todd doesn't care about them and ending with: "You want to talk about provable facts? You've missed it all along."

I'm giving this round to Todd because Conway reminded us of her own worse phrase without somehow turning it to a positive, and Todd took advantage of the occasion by flipping it into an excellent paraphrase.

Round 8: Once again, Todd repeats the question: "You never answered why or the motivation of what was necessary about doing that yesterday."

Conway replaces his question with her questions: "Tell me why you just referred to us as ridiculous. Tell me why we were lied about with the MLK bust."

Todd accuses her of "deflecting" to avoid answering the question. Conway barrels on about the MLK bust: The press was looking for "any snarky attempt to try to undercut this president." And:
I mean, we can't have this kind of relationship.
Back to the "relationship." Todd says: "I completely agree" and says he has been trying to answer her questions and she's been attacking him. I'll give this to Conway for putting Todd on the defensive.

Round 9: Todd announces they've run out of time: "You have another interview to go to. I have the rest of the show to go to. Kellyanne Conway I appreciate coming on to share your views." That's nice enough. Both combatants are still standing. I call Round 9 a draw.

Final score: 4 to 4. It's a draw. Nice going, you crazy kids.

164 comments:

HT said...

I dare you to score your own commenters!

Chuck said...

I can't fault your analysis. And of course, the reason that I click on "Althouse" is for your analysis, and not to have my views validated.

But Ann; Chuck Todd is a television interviewer. Some would say, a journalist. And Kellyanne Conway is a public servant. I don't give her any props for fouling off difficult questions the way that I give Miguel Cabrera props for fouling off difficult questions.

She owes it to the American public to answer valid questions directly. We can criticize Chuck Todd for varying sins of the past. But today, there was nothing wrong with his questions.

This was a comprehensive disaster for Mrs. Conway.

#alternativefacts

MikeR said...

Only reason I can see for this is FUD. Donald Trump seems to prefer that the news people spend their time dealing with his nonsensical stuff, rather than with the substance of what he's doing. It's worked for him so far, but I don't know that it is therefore a good idea going forward.

Hari said...

I wish Trump would have simply said that his goal was not to maximize the number of people who attended his inauguration, but to maximize the good he does for the country. And he could have gone on with his signature hyperbole, "I'm going to get so much done for this country that four years from now, we may have to find a bigger venue to host my next inauguration."

wwww said...



Round 10 Twitter lit with #alternativefact jokes

Round 11 Facebook alternativefact meme

People laugh.

Win goes to Todd.

Mark said...

#AlternateFacts has gone viral.

Trump might bend Twitter his way for a time, but this too will pass.

Chuck said...

I'm still surprised that no one in the commentariat has yet gone off on the Trump/Farrakhan comparision. The facts, circumstances and numbers are astonishingly comparable. And you have the beautiful pairing of Trump and Farrakhan as the odd couple of cultish avoidance of obvious facts. I'd love to have all of the racialists on both ends of the spectrum be confronted with that one.

n.n said...

Round 10: Leftists protesting aggressively and violently.

#TwilightZone

QueenWili said...

Meanwhile, #alternativefacts is trending. Hey did you know the Packers won?

wendybar said...

"At this point, what difference does it make???"

Birkel said...

You will throw that PURPLE ELEPHANT into that briar patch.

ndspinelli said...

Conway was a student of Jonathan Turley. He really likes her, sings her praises, and says she is one of the sharpest students he has ever taught. She is an attorney I would hire.

Chuck said...

lol! credit Miguel Cabrera for fouling off difficult pitches...

Miggy hasn't had to foul off any difficult questions, if they aren't in Spanish...

chickelit said...

The audience defers to Conway because the inauguration was certainly watched live by untold numbers of people. More people are connected than in 2012 even.

Did you notice that afterwards, Todd insisted that Obama's inauguration was more popular and by implication, better.

Fabi said...

Chuck comes out swinging for his MSM buddies -- and against a member of the Trump administration!

Unexpectedly

n.n said...

wendybar:

"At this point, what difference does it make???"

#ProAmerican

Apparently, all the difference. With Obama out of power, they can no longer redistribute the bodies from the Lefts' global adventures in social justice. That's when they sent in the female chauvinists to secure rites to deny life unworthy. Followed by the organization of protestors to foment an ugly transition of power and disenfranchise Americans on inauguration day.

mockturtle said...

Sending Spicer out with THE MESSAGE to the 'messengers' conveys that Trump wasn't going to let them continue to get away with making up shit.

Once written, twice... said...

It is an unfair bout: Todd has an obligation to follow professional standards, while Conway gets paid to make things up and lie through her teeth

AprilApple said...

Todd asking the question in the first place is petty nonsense. He knows what he is doing.

The pro-democrat/corruptocrat hack dance.

wwww said...

#AlternateFacts has gone viral.


I dated Beyonce. She took me to Red Lobster. #alternatefacts

gspencer said...

I'm gonna really enjoy seeing the press get cauliflower ears day in, day out.

Ann Althouse said...

In context and read sympathetically, "alternative facts" doesn't mean that there are competing versions of the truth and you can refer to all of them as "facts."

Actually, that wouldn't bother me that much, because it would mean that the word "facts" was being used to mean "assertions of fact." Chuck Todd used the word "litigating," and in litigation there are factual issues, and litigants try to get the "fact-finder" to accept their assertions of fact as the facts. If one litigant states a fact — X is true — the other litigant may say X is not true. It would be awkward but understandable to call X and not-X "alternative facts."

But what I think Conway meant was that there are many different factual issues, and some people choose to forefront one factual issue — such as the size of the crowd at the Inauguration — when there are many other factual issues that could have been selected as the main story. There are "alternatives" in that you don't have to make such a big deal out of that one thing, and you could emphasizes something else. The "alternative facts" were all the other things that Trump did, good things, that would have put him in a good light, and the media is criticized for picking out the fact that diminished Trump.

Birkel said...

AprilApple:

You are wrong, though I hesitate to mention it. Trump is driving this discussion. He has told the press unequivocally NOT to think of a PURPLE ELEPHANT.

The press has dutifully joined the fight.

Expect Trump to play the game on the other team's side of the field.

The Cracker Emcee said...

The strange thing about this is that it has absolutely zero relevance to reality. Other than Chuck and the Left no one cares. Evaluate the "1.5 million at my inauguration" comment in comparison with the effect the grabbing pussy tape had on the election and then try to make an argument that this will have any influence on anything, anywhere, ever. The Left isn't in a bubble. They're in a padded room which they're inexplicably sound-proofing from the inside.

PB said...

The news media came out with comments on two photos that were taken at different times of the day and is not an authoritative "count" of attendance. That the media went so crazy over it demonstrates their basic unfitness to perform their jobs for which they are granted extra constitutional protection. Their inability is so will-full that they should be sued for slander and libel, under the position they have forfeited said protections.

QueenWili said...

When the shit really hits the fan and we have to depend on the Press Secretary or some Trump spokesperson to tell the truth about let's say, those killed in action, or something similar, we now know they will lie through their teeth. If they would lie over something as trivial as crowd size, they'll lie when the stakes are higher.

William said...

I've seen Trump lose a lot of debates and win a lot of elections. I think many people use a different scoring system than is avalilable to Althouse........My own feeling is that someday Trump is going to hit a rough patch , and he will need support beyond that offered by his fervent admirers. Maybe he should try to build up a little goodwill. But what do I know. He's president.........Observation: The NYT reporter who tweeted that the MLK bust had been removed from the Oval Office was negligent and careless. He corrected his tweet later, but that's the kind of cut you should measure twice before making. He fucked up.Conway should have further pressed Todd to condemn this shoddy journalism and to admit that it showed a bias on the reporter's part.........Everyone, on both sides, is hoping for a Perry Mason moment where one of the parties breaks down and admits that they're liars and guilty of the criminal charges. It will never happen.

West Texas Intermediate Crude said...

Unforced error by KAC and DJT. They should point out:
1. Draw an 10 or 20 mile radius around the Washington Monument. Hillary outpolled DJT probably 10 to 1 in that area, where the locals who could attend easily live. Hillary is now President of the DC metropolitan area, LA, SF and NYC. DJT is President of the United States.
2. Oh, and , by the way, Hillary's supporters threatened violence, disruption, and riots during the ceremony. They made good their threats. Any corresponding activity during BHO's Inaugural?
Then conclude with what Hari said- you can concentrate on crowd numbers, DJT will concentrate on MAGA.

Chuck said...

And as you and I both know, professor, "alternative pleading" is a well-known, respected, legitimate principle of civil procedure.

But no; this isn't Civ Pro I, and it isn't Linguistics 401. This is Real Life in the Twitter Era.

#alternativefacts gonna stick like "Crooked Hillary."

n.n said...

Benghazi was a spontaneous event. #alternatefacts Keep watching the video.

Human life begins at conception. #alternatefacts Wait a sec.

Ukrainian refugees occupy Crimea after a violent Western-backed coup. #alternatefacts True.

Men are from Mars. Women are from Venus. #alternatefacts Unconfirmed, but trendy.

Ann Althouse said...

I'm just scoring Conway's performance. I think she had a difficult side to take. What interests me is her hardball style and refusal to back down or even weaken. She was in a very tough position, Todd kept pummeling her, and she got stronger as she went along.

That doesn't mean Spicer did well or that the Trump team made a good decision to engage on this point, but I want to understand what I am seeing, which is hard fighting on absolutely everything. I've never seen politics done this way, and I'm not going to say it's ridiculous or it can't work, because things I didn't think should work have worked for Trump.

I'm trying to figure out, to see the moving parts and describe them.

n.n said...

#CecileTheCannibal

#60SecondNewsCycles

AprilApple said...

Todd(D) says:

"Listen... this is not about us."

Bullshit. The alphabet channels are all biased bullcrap. Chuck Todd has never had a problem with a democrat not answering a question. Chuck Todd and his wife are registered democrats and they are both slaves to their holier than though political party, and it shows.

Birkel said...

Remember, this is the photo CNN posted from Trump's position:

http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2017/01/politics/trump-inauguration-gigapixel/?sr=twCNN012117trump-inauguration-gigapixel0148PMVODtopLink&linkId=33636990

PURPLE ELEPHANT!!!!

AprilApple said...

( thou )

America's Politico said...

Prof, I think DJT is going down soon. This is the big game now. Media are in the WH and they have free access to West Wing, without any escort. That is, they can on media badge/press credentials go anywhere. Thus, there will be more stories like the MLK Bust, etc. Look what Zeke Millar of Time said on his twitter feed: Apologies to my Colleagues. So, all media (except WSJ or Fox) are colleagues, all working together to bring DJT down.

I think he will not survive a year and then resign or be impeached. Pence is next POTUS and then he will have to find a VP - Marco Rubio!

PS: I think Warren as POTUS or VPOTUS in 2020 will mean GOP is to be demolished. Just imagine 0% women vote for GOP.

Fabi said...

Kellyanne had Chuck stammering and she never gave in -- tie goes to the runner.

QueenWili said...

"The strange thing about this is that it has absolutely zero relevance to reality. Other than Chuck and the Left no one cares"

Another alternative fact. Just like Kellyann's assertion that no one cares about Trump releasing his taxes. CNN/ORC poll shows that 74% do want Trump to release his taxes.

steve knoche said...

The Alternate facts were that the crowd size was very large. PBS took the Trump snapshot before everyone had gotten into the plaza. Protesters blocking the entry points did not help. A the moment they started the swearing these was about the same number for trump as there was for Obama.

buwaya said...

It is a petty matter, and the Press ignores substantial ones, not necessarily those that help Trump.

Its not odd I suppose, but to be expected, and it does support Trumps position about the nature of the US MSM.

Ignored entirely is the shooting in Seattle, where it seems an anti-Trump demonstrator shot another anti-Trump demonstrator who was battering him. And the apparent organized violence vs pro-Trump persons and the police. If it bleeds it leads is no longer a journalistic trope. I would think this is a major escalation in political violence.

rehajm said...

Team Trump is laying the foundation for things to come later. The details here matter little- they could have chosen any of the other crafted leftie narratives to lay this groundwork.

This is only round 1.

AprilApple said...

It would be impossible for me to refrain from kicking Todd in the teeth with my boot.


"You didn't answer my question!" Todd rams it and rams it an rams it.

Todd ever do this to a democrat?

NO! never.

J2 said...

I score it a technical knockout. He lost his cool. She is unflappable, unflinching. And she fussed with her hair while doing it, kind of like saying "this is too easy".

America's Politico said...

Question: Why does Kellyanne go on MTP anyway? Should they just avoid Sunday shows for a while? Why not keep the briefing room but remove media offices in WH (as then they cannot walk about snooping and make up more issues to bring DJT down)?

I do not think Trump is ready for the big league. This is WH and media are smelling a Kill!

Trump is going down, soon!

EsoxLucius said...

"Alternative facts" will be the millstone in Conway's short career in ladyfingers' mafia.

EDH said...

What is the basis for Todd saying repeatedly that Trump "sent out" Spicer for this purpose?


Fabi said...

America's Politico should tell us more about the inevitability of Hillary being elected president! Good times!

Seeing Red said...

"...try to set up the Press as the enemy."

I would have laughed in his face and sad, "You don't need any help from this Administration."

You have 18 months of history.

Then give examples from the NBC coverage on Friday and Maddog saying Trump will put her in a camp.

Chuck said...

Ann Althouse said...
I'm just scoring Conway's performance. I think she had a difficult side to take. What interests me is her hardball style and refusal to back down or even weaken. She was in a very tough position, Todd kept pummeling her, and she got stronger as she went along.


I agree with you, fwiw.

There is a tricky thing, for real journalists. Yes, they need to ask hard questions and follow up, and they ought to demand specificity.

But at the point where it becomes cross-examination -- and I think you and I both recognize the difference between an interview and cross-examination -- the journalist has to stop.

That is to say, the journalist's job is not to establish a point; the journalist's job is to obtain the subject's facts/veiwpoints and to clarify them for the audience.

Here, what is clear, is that Kellyanne Conway had no answer to "What was going on here?" other than, "We're doing it to push back, in the interest of the other things we are pursuing."

It will now be perfectly fair game, for everyone in the media to replay the interview and observe that Kellyanne Conway had no good answer. If she wants another crack at it, somebody can give it to her.

This is not the way that I'd like to conduct a life or a career. I'd want to be as clear as possible; and I wouldn't want anyone else to define me. But that is what will rightly happen now, as pertains to this interview. People will be laughing at her.


The Cracker Emcee said...

"CNN/ORC poll shows that 74% do want Trump to release his taxes."

They may want it in a general kind of humoring a liberal push-pollster sort of way. But again, no one but Chuck and the Left really cares. Shit, it's probably just Chuck.

wwww said...

That doesn't mean Spicer did well or that the Trump team made a good decision to engage on this point, but I want to understand what I am seeing, which is hard fighting on absolutely everything. I've never seen politics done this way, and I'm not going to say it's ridiculous or it can't work, because things I didn't think should work have worked for Trump.


It's how a propagandist works. It's about de-legitimizing institutions.

The free press is the 4th estate.

De-legitimize the media if the media questions the leader. Discipline reporters. Get reporters to write good copy about the leader. Threaten reporters who question the leader. The goal is good copy about the leader.

Mess with the facts. Orwell. This is not a new tactic. Get rid of the authority of any institution or any person who can effectively question the leader. Destroy their legitimacy in the eyes of the people.

The goal is to destroy all authority/ legitimacy that is not allied with the leader.

Birkel said...

Chuck, who supports anything anti-Trump: "This is not the way that I'd like to conduct a life or a career.... People will be laughing at her."

And yet here you are, getting laughed at, roundly.

There is a disconnect.

Chuck said...

EDH said...
What is the basis for Todd saying repeatedly that Trump "sent out" Spicer for this purpose?


It's the Press Secretary of the President of the United States. In the briefing room of the West Wing of the White House. It was a statement, devoted to this purpose. No questions from the press. Nothing was unscripted. My guess is that at least a dozen people were involved in the decision and the preparation, and that the President was involved.

Why would you think that a statement from the Press Secretary was not something that was directly representative of the President?

If Spicer had not been "sent" for that purpose, wouldn't you expect the President -- who was on television in two other ceremonies on the day -- to clarify?

What theory are you trying to pursue with this question?

rcocean said...

Great blow by blow analysis.

However, Conway made Chuck Todd look liked an obsessed, biased, idiot. All the issues to discuss, and Todd asks the same irrelevant question about crowd sizes over and over and over again.

This is the Trump trap the MSM fall into. The MSM just can't help themselves and as a result average, unbiased people just start tuning them out. They are no longer an objective press, they are the disloyal opposition and have as much credibility.

mockturtle said...

When the shit really hits the fan and we have to depend on the Press Secretary or some Trump spokesperson to tell the truth about let's say, those killed in action, or something similar, we now know they will lie through their teeth. If they would lie over something as trivial as crowd size, they'll lie when the stakes are higher.

Seriously, Queen Wili??? The first casualty of war is truth, as has been said ever since there has been war. Are you saying we can depend on the MSM to tell the truth? They have already destroyed that option.

Chuck said...

Birkel, you don't count as "anybody."

Sally327 said...

I think we're going to see the Trump people never giving an inch on anything, even on ridiculous stuff that typically you'd think they want to let go of, because they've seen this all before and they know there's nothing to be gained by conceding error on anything. George W. Bush was hounded by the press to admit he was wrong about things, WMD, yellowcake, whatever, and when he did (correctly or not) it got him absolutely nothing except branded as an acknowledged liar.

The Clinton people ran this play successfully over and over again over the Ken Starr investigation, constantly on the attack, never admitting to anything. And it worked.

The Trump supporters want this approach, it's what they already believe, that Trump is always hounded and unfairly attacked by the media whatever the truth of the matter might really be. It reminds me of the husband when his wife caught him in bed with another woman and he denies it vociferously, who are you going to believe, baby, me or your lying eyes?

FullMoon said...

Spicer looked uncomfortable. It was the wrong thing to argue about.
Meanwhile, this is the type of stupidity already being repeated elsewhere-over, and over, and over again,


QueenWili said... [hush]​[hide comment]

When the shit really hits the fan and we have to depend on the Press Secretary or some Trump spokesperson to tell the truth about let's say, those killed in action, or something similar, we now know they will lie through their teeth. If they would lie over something as trivial as crowd size, they'll lie when the stakes are higher.

buwaya said...

Its not just 18months of history but closer to 20 years, if not more, and its not just Republican politicians.

The press has been doing its level best, with urgency and intense hatred, to destroy American industry. Yes, I mean that. The US press is unremittingly hostile vs business in a way you will not see in Europe and Asia.

This is not a new thing at all, and its roots are in the Soviet Union, which set off an ideological mechanism in the US that now has an independent life. Its one reason why the press was so easy to co-opt in furthering the finance-bureacratic nexus. Wall Street wants to kill Main Street, and the press is a willing, eager weapon.

mockturtle said...

wwww intones: De-legitimize the media if the media questions the leader.

The media have de-legitimized themselves. They did so long ago but it only became incontrovertibly clear this past year.

Birkel said...

wwww:

Good thing Obama had an obsequious press and never had to do all that. All he had to do was wiretap them, jail them, subpoena them and remove them from the press briefing room.

How far must press disapproval fall to destroy authority/legitimacy? Currently it is around 20% before Trump was inaugurated.

Chuck said...

rcocean said...
Great blow by blow analysis.
However, Conway made Chuck Todd look liked an obsessed, biased, idiot. All the issues to discuss, and Todd asks the same irrelevant question about crowd sizes over and over and over again.
This is the Trump trap the MSM fall into. The MSM just can't help themselves and as a result average, unbiased people just start tuning them out. They are no longer an objective press, they are the disloyal opposition and have as much credibility.


I disagree with most of this. But there is a point worth mentioning; the idea that Team Trump wanted a new story to knock the Women's March off the top of the news feed. They succeeded remarkably well if that was the goal. But what a way to do it! What a price to pay, in terms of credibility, for a single news cycle's advantage!

rcocean said...

People don't give a rats ass about whether Trump was right or wrong about the size of the crowds. Nor do most people -certainly not the 60 million who voted for him -care about his tax return.

Just from reading "memorandum" and the stories they post, I can see the MSM and the Left growing more and more crazed and out-of-touch. MEMORANDUM actually had a link to a Dan rather story. I mean, who cares about 100 y/o Dan Rather? And how many old-timers have any respect for him? But the liberals at MEMORANDUM still think people care and respect Dan Rather. Crazy.

walter said...

Hmm.."alternative facts". That really is a gift to the opposition. This after taking control of the "fake news" narrative. Stupid.
A far better pivot would have been towards the nut jobbery out there that may have prevented more people from gathering there as sitting ducks.

rcocean said...

"I disagree with most of this"

Of course, you do. You're a liberal Republican.

Bob Boyd said...

It's hard to take Chuck Todd's complaint seriously when you know he likely still has recoverable traces of Obama's DNA in his goatee.

Renee said...

I'm worried. We had a press that was too cozy with the government, now with a press who is trying legitimize the government. I don't know what to think. The press has an obligation, and they've haven't done that being so close with the Democrats all this time. The press is very powerful, and not holding their end of the obligations.

I think the word 'alternative' is interesting. Alternative news/facts use to be a liberal progressive things. Such as the independent local paper in Boston, the Phoenix. Now it is Trump offering an alternative in terms of facts. We always had alternative newspapers, why are alternative facts now considered silly?

rcocean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chuck said...

The Cracker Emcee said...
"CNN/ORC poll shows that 74% do want Trump to release his taxes."

They may want it in a general kind of humoring a liberal push-pollster sort of way. But again, no one but Chuck and the Left really cares. Shit, it's probably just Chuck.


For the record, my interest in Trump's taxes is relatively low. I'm not big on that issue, nor on the issue of Trump's supposed financial conflicts.

Here is what I really want; a letter or a memo, certified by the IRS, that Trump has in fact not been under audit for the last several years.

I think Trump has been lying about the "audit" issue from the start. An enormous, bald-faced lie like that is the epitome of Trump.

rcocean said...

"That really is a gift to the opposition"

People like you never get it. As shown in the past, with Trump/McCain/Romney/Bush the MSM are going to attack Republicans and paint them as idiots or evil - no matter what.

They hung "I can see Russia from my House" and "Binders full of Women" on Romney and Palin even though both statements are complete lies (Palin) or misrepresentations (Romney).

Playing defense gets Republicans nowhere.

wwww said...


How far must press disapproval fall to destroy authority/legitimacy?

The leader must be the source of authority for "facts." The media must never be seen as the source of facts unless the media is allied with the leader.

Any institution or person that has the power to disrupt the authority of the leader must be destroyed.

That's the goal.

Birkel said...

rcocean:

Chuck is a status quo Republican. He was pleased with the growth of Leviathan since Kennedy and would have preferred Pappy Bush to Reagan in 1980 because that movie star cowboy was not electable.

I left the Republican Party when W Bush increased the size and scope of Leviathan. As a conservative I cannot support federal government growth.

Chuck is a status quo Republican.

dhagood said...

one thing i think trump (and by extension his staff) has learned in the twitter era is to never give up, never back down, and never give an inch. the way twitter mobs seem to work is they demand that you apologize for something, anything, and then insist on another apology for something else. there is always somebody lecturing you on your position, any position, all positions, and demanding you apologize. it doesn't matter what the subject is, it doesn't matter how substantive the subject or the apology, once you start backing up the mob just howls more vociferously and there is never an end to it.

so what this means i think is that if you push trump, trump will push back regardless of how important or trivial the occasion. one thing about trump that i like is his refusal to do the lumbering republican dance of shame that they have done for seemingly ever. trump ain't buying it and trump don't dance.

we can argue about whether this is good or not (i don't think it is in general) but trump's position makes sense in the world in which we currently live.

Earnest Prole said...

Shorter Kellyanne Conway: These aren't the droids you're looking for.

rcocean said...

"I think Trump has been lying about the "audit" issue from the start. An enormous, bald-faced lie like that is the epitome of Trump."

What has that to do with anything? You don't care about real issues, just about whether he's under an audit. Of course, he's under an IRS audit, every Billionaire gets audited. If they weren't the IRS wouldn't be doing their job.

And you can be damn sure that if Trump was NOT under an audit, the IRS would've leaked that.

Michael K said...

The news media came out with comments on two photos that were taken at different times of the day and is not an authoritative "count" of attendance

This is what lit off the conflict. The press and especially CNN are trying to belittle Trump by saying there was a poor turnout for the inauguration. I have no doubt, given the historic first Obama inauguration and the obstruction of those attempting to attend, like the two Air Force guys being blocked Friday, plus of course that DC is a company town and 93% of the residents are leftist voters, that the 2009 crowd was larger.

However, the MSM is going to get fierce pushback from the Trump people and the dishonest photo publication is now part of the story.

Michael K said...

what this means i think is that if you push trump, trump will push back regardless of how important or trivial the occasion.

I agree. This is round one.

viator said...

The swearing-in of the 45th president was seen by 30.6 million viewers across 12 networks.

The only inauguration over the last three decades that tops Trump’s number in the linear ratings? Barack Obama’s first inauguration back in 2009, which had a record-setting 37.8 million viewers. So Trump was down from the last new president to take office.

But before that, to get an Inauguration Day number this high, you’d have to go all the way back to Ronald Reagan in 1981, who was seen by 41.8 million viewers (Nielsen released tracking for inauguration ratings back to 1969).

Trump’s numbers are all the more remarkable considering he’s entering into office with rather low approval ratings compared to past presidents and sparked protests worldwide along with vows to not watch his inauguration.

And actually, Trump could have been seen by more viewers than either Obama or Reagan. Nielsen ratings do not account for online viewing, which has grown sharply in recent years and is far more commonplace than even four years ago. CNN.com, for example, clocked 16.9 million live streams, tying with its Election Day coverage for the site’s top event.

QueenWili said...

We may not have to wait long for Trump's taxes to be revealed. Wikileaks is threatening to do so.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Round 1. Yes, we happened on a video clip of DJT's press guy wasting words about Tweets and crowd size. Disgusting and badly done. The guy looked like a 4th grader giving his first speech.

Let it go, guy. There are bigger battles to be fought, and your argument was weak. Someone, unnamed, published a picture showing the crowd as small. As you mentioned, the New York Times (yes, THAT NYT) published a more representative picture. You got no cause for complaint.

Let it Go, Kellyanne. The correct answer would have been: "Thank you, Chuck, for your thoughts on that, we will make not of it. But let's respect the viewers' time here and move to subjects of greater importance to the nation and the world."

And you, too, Chuck. Let it go. Respect your audience.

Curious George said...

It would have been nice for Todd to take the attack with the Obama administration instead of choking down a load every week.

Fabi said...

The IRS audits one-in-eight returns with a million dollar AGI. The more complex the return, the higher the chances of an audit. Add those together and it's entirely possible -- even likely -- that Trump is audited every year. I don't remember exactly when I haven't been audited each year. Maybe in the nineties.

Seeing Red said...

Ya know, sometimes the media could point some lame thing out like crowd sizes, and the response should be with a raised eyebrow, "And?"

Then let them babble.

"Whatever. Should we talk about something meaningful like this policy?"

Then move on.

Like handling a pre-teen when they come a jabber about who's in who's out. In one ear, out the other.



Birkel said...

wwww:

So, what Obama did, only this time it is bad?

walter said...

rcocean said..."That really is a gift to the opposition" People like you never get it
Playing defense gets Republicans nowhere.
--
Good grief. There's a difference between going on the offense and handing your opposition such a stupid quotable. Even her delivery of it sucked.

viator said...

Here is CNN's gigapixel of the inauguration. CNN's gigapixel of the actual event does not corroborate the NYT (surprise, surprise). Or any of the subsequent talking (lying) heads.

Seeing Red said...

Wiki can do it then go to prison, along with whoever gave it to them.

That's against the law.

Big Mike said...

I think i get what's going on. The press is looking for ways to dig at Trump. I mean there are any number of reasons why Trump's crowds were smaller than Obama's: in no particular order they would have to include explicit threats of violence on the part of the protest groups; the concentration of Democrats in large eastern cities, making it relatively easy for out of town Democrats to attend, versus Trump's supporters being concentrated in rural areas well away from DC; DC is 75% to 80% black so one would expect more local people would attend the inauguration of a black president; and the Democrats have become a bipolar party, concentrated at the top and bottom of the economic ladder, leaving the middle to the GOP, so relatively more Obama voters could afford to take vacation and pay ridiculous prices for DC hotels.

And you know what? None. Of. It. Matters. Not a bit.

Trump voters think the press lies about Trump as a matter of reflex. They expect Trump to fight back, and he obliges his base.

Seeing Red said...

Now if it were Barry's college transcripts....

Steve Uhr said...


The Packers were nice enough to provide a temporary distraction from Trump World. I was hoping it would last a couple more weeks. Sad.

QueenWili said...

Seeing Red, you think Wikileaks cares if it's illegal? It's illegal to steal emails from the DNC also.

Seeing Red said...

Oh, dear queenie., the Professor already covered that with a post.

Go in the archive.

Birkel said...

Those 'lifelong Republicans' who advocate paying the Danegeld are a funny lot.

Hagar said...

In this particular case, Kellyanne might have been better off to just smile prettily and say: "I don't know Chuck; why don't you ask him?"
OTOH, she made Todd take up all that time without putting any other questions she really might not want to answer while just harping on this triviality and making himself - and MTP - look hostile and tiresome.
I think, on points to Conway.

The Cracker Emcee said...

Love the gigapixel. So apparently the Left shit the bed again. Strong work!

wwww said...

Birkel,

If the press had been rendered ineffective by past leaders, Conway wouldn't waste her time going on news shows.

Steve Uhr said...

We all believe in free enterprise and competition. Why is the media industry viewed different? The various news outlets are in competition with each other. They have an interest in getting the facts right. If they are wrong they lose viewers and ad dollars. They are happy when their competitors screw up and misreport the facts. There is not a single MSM acting in lockstep.

If there is a secret scary world government out there, it is controlled by Trump and his friends, not by the NYT and WSJ.

bgates said...

It's a political tactic to come up with alternative facts and try to set up the press as your enemy?

This is the kind of gaslighting horseshit that makes me hope Chuck Todd dies in a fire - the notion that the press are disinterested and scrupulously fair observers of American politics, set upon without cause by the deplorables in the Trump campaign. He's a servant of the Democratic Party, full stop.

Frankly, I'd have more respect for that douchebag if he showed up this week clean-shaven and tried to claim that Alternate Universe Chuck Todd was the one with the goatee and no interest in the truth, and the Chuck Todd of this universe had returned from many strange adventures to play it straight just coincidentally at the start of the Trump administration.

Rance Fasoldt said...

Get out your Scott Adams 3-Dimension playbook, campers. Chuck's playing the 2-Dimension game. Of course he's tied up with facts; although the one he's not seeing is THAT THE MSM IS THE FIRST PARTY MAKING A BIG DEAL OUT OF THE SIZE OF THE CROWDS. And not for the purpose of identifying important facts, but to put down the Trump crowds. No one likes to be treated like 8-year olds, like the Press Corps was by Sean Spicer. But that humiliation will have an effect, though I'm not sure what it will be. They may feel chastised, and be more focussed; or, more likely, they may double down. As rcocean said on a different thread, "The MSM believed the speech [at the CIA] was for them to interpret. Now they are in an ice chest onboard the U.S.S. Trump."

bgates said...

We all believe in free enterprise and competition.

Not all of us.

The various news outlets are in competition with each other. They have an interest in getting the facts right. If they are wrong they lose viewers and ad dollars. They are happy when their competitors screw up and misreport the facts.

Nobody from "competing news outlets" tried to win viewers from CBS when Dan Rather tried to stage a coup by making fraudulent claims about Bush on the eve of the 2004 election. Nobody tried to get viewers from NBC when Brian Williams was revealed to lie about his time in Iraq. Nobody tried to get viewers from CNN when they were revealed to be colluding with Clinton for the debates.

AReasonableMan said...

Chuck said...
Birkel, you don't count as "anybody."


Leave Birkel alone!

FullMoon said...




Blogger QueenWili said...

We may not have to wait long for Trump's taxes to be revealed. Wikileaks is threatening to do so.


OK, good, then what happens?

Chuck said...

Tell me, please, what the "CNN gigapixel" proves.

Mark B said...

I never heard of Sean Spicer until recently, but he's clearly not cut out for the job of official liar. Trump needs to hire one of the many Democrat slick-tongued devils who lie with ease. Republicans tend to sweat and stammer when they lie.

John said...

Queen Wili,

You say Wikileaks will release President Trump's (It feels so good to type that!) returns. To what end? To bring him down?

After they just went to all this effort to get him in office?

You are not making a lot of sense.

John Henry

mezzrow said...

Is Trump bearbaiting the media to get them to blunder into the cleverly laid tiger trap?

Will the cat jump into the dryer?

Stay tuned.

Steve Uhr said...

Mark B - Neither party has a monopoly on highly-skilled liars. Our President is quite good at it don't you think?

AprilApple said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve Uhr said...

John Henry -- Our enemies want to destabilize our government. It is entirely consistent for them to help Trump get elected and then cause him endless grief once he becomes President.

mockturtle said...

Steve Uhr laments: The Packers were nice enough to provide a temporary distraction from Trump World. I was hoping it would last a couple more weeks. Sad.

Atlanta has a much better chance of beating New England so I'm kind of glad they won, though I rooted for the Pack. Sure, the Steelers could pull it off tonight but...

John said...

ARM,

Thanks for that link about Birkel. Made me laugh.

Even better, in the sidebar it linked to this:

http://imgur.com/gallery/zq2IT

A young guy in a MAGA hat picking up trash after the women's march.

John Henry

mockturtle said...

Regarding the media, Trump understands what very few--if any!--politicians understand and that is that the best defense is often a good offense. I think we were all a bit sick and tired of grown men [and a few grown women] folding up meekly after a media 'outrage' over some imagined faux pas and retracting perfectly sensible remarks.

AprilApple said...

what dhagood said. **

Michael K said...

Nobody from "competing news outlets" tried to win viewers from CBS when Dan Rather tried to stage a coup by making fraudulent claims about Bush on the eve of the 2004 election.

Yes. One reason I like Kevin Drum is that, even as a lefty, he was too honest to go after that story once he investigated and learned it was bogus.

None of the media types were.

Our enemies want to destabilize our government. It is entirely consistent for them to help Trump get elected and then cause him endless grief once he becomes President.

I guess I never noticed your leftist delusions before, Steve. The Russians had far more incentive to help Hillary. After all, Bill sold our missile guidance systems to the Chinese.

Anglelyne said...

John Henry:

A young guy in a MAGA hat picking up trash after the women's march.

[Link.]


Great catch, JH.

traditionalguy said...

If the Fake Stream Media are being called liars, it is because that is all that they ever try to do. They are the Opposition Party.

Conway communicated very well. Alternate facts clearly meant there are alternate ways used in measuring a crowd.

The NPR guys even alleged today that Todd was right because the "Crowd Scientists" agreed with him. Now that is funny. They now have the soon to be fired Hoax Data guys from the East Anglia U.Climate Center, famous as manipulators of Temperature measurements, must have started brand New Careers with a New Con.

If the Fake Stream Media wants to be held up as Liars, they have the simple solution: Tell the Truth.

Chris Breisch said...

Poor performance by Conway. She should have dropped Todd in the 1st round with this:http://ijr.com/2017/01/783119-brit-hume-calls-bs-on-trump-and-obama-inauguration-pics-claims-theres-a-deceptive-trick-to-photos/

TKO. The ref would have to step in and stop the fight.

Clyde said...

Ann Althouse said...

But what I think Conway meant was that there are many different factual issues, and some people choose to forefront one factual issue — such as the size of the crowd at the Inauguration — when there are many other factual issues that could have been selected as the main story. There are "alternatives" in that you don't have to make such a big deal out of that one thing, and you could emphasizes something else. The "alternative facts" were all the other things that Trump did, good things, that would have put him in a good light, and the media is criticized for picking out the fact that diminished Trump.


Exactly. It's not just how they choose to frame the stories, but which stories to highlight and which ones to soft-pedal. In a fair, even-minded media (were such a unicorn to exist), they would play it straight down the middle. Instead, we get the "when did you stop beating your wife" kind of questions, phrased with dripping sarcasm.

In baseball, one thing that catchers are rated on by scouts is "pitch framing." It's the ability of the catcher to make a borderline pitch look like a strike to the umpire, rather than a ball, and some catchers are better at it than others. Our media is more like a catcher trying to get the umpire to call the pitch in their team's favor than an umpire "calling 'em as he sees 'em." And that's because the media are not a neutral arbiter trying to fairly inform the public, but rather they are partisans for the Democrat team. Trump and his team are no longer letting them claim to be impartial umpires and are calling them out as the partisans that they are.

John said...

The Russians had far more incentive to help Hillary.

And, Michael K, pretty much the only major source of income the Russians have is oil and gas.

Crooked Hilary was going to lock up US supplies and make them more expensive.

President Trump is going to "Drill, baby, drill!" and make gas and oil cheaper.

Right now oil is around $50. Russia, and many other countries, need oil at $75 or more to balance their budgets. What are they going to do when we are selling oil for $25-30 a bbl?

For this reason alone President Trump is Russia's worst nightmare. This alone should be reason to be skeptical of the claim that Russia is the one who hacked the DNC.

So Wikileaks releases President Trump's tax returns. So what? Does anyone expect them to show illegality? I doubt that.

I suspect that folks like the queen are hoping it shows that he paid little in taxes.

I suspect that this would work in his favor.

DJT: "I paid every penny of taxes that I was legally required to. How many of you [pointing at the media] paid more than legally required?"

The tax system is completely and totally screwed and nobody knows this better than I do. That is why I have supported and will continue to support a flat tax and tax simplification. Will you [pointing at media] help or will you stand in the way?"


Yeah, I wonder if you should really hope his taxes become public. It might not work out the way you want. Rather than destabilizing, it might make him stronger.

Then we might have Steve Uhr and Queenie saying that the Russkies! and Wikileaks released them to make him more powerful because he is in bed with them.

John Henry

DavidD said...

In what way is "alternate facts" different from "facts besides those facts you cite"?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Chuck said...People will be laughing at her.

The Media was laughing at her already, Chuck. SNL was been mocking her and saying she's an idiot and an evil person, and most of the Media has been laughing right along. Spare me the "oh now I, Chuck, have lost respect for this person." You have all been attacking her for months. It isn't sexist to do so since she's not a Dem.

Quaestor said...

America's Politico has resurfaced with another prognostication.

Consequently, all may rest assured the levers of power will be firmly and comfortably in Republican hands for the coming decade.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Onc Althouse and co watch Justified and Wynn Duffy, they know.

Wynn.

Duffy.

Win is what matters, and whoany Charlie for me, rich Men of Riches.

Mark B said...

@ Steve Uhr: "Neither party has a monopoly on highly-skilled liars. Our President is quite good at it don't you think?"

The best! But, he isn't your father's Republican, is he? You've dragged us all down to your level. Not sure how we get out of this mess.

Jon Ericson said...

Thank you for your concern. God Bless.

Chuck said...

HoodlumDoodlum said...
...
... You have all been attacking her for months.

No, I haven't. I've been attacking her boss, the same way that she was, before she became his employee.
I've had a kind word for Kellyanne Conway just about every time her name has come up. Including on an occasion for which I was harshly criticized; her interview with Rachel Maddow, on which I said that Kellyanne did a great job. She was tripped up only by the indefensibility of Trump's reckless language, not her own.

damikesc said...

I'd ask, if Conway, "Does this warrant this type of coverage? You're proving our case for us"

She did what I'd suggest: Apologizing for anything is a huge mistake. Has ANYBODY been well-served by saying "I was wrong"? Fuck no. The same vultures will only amplify the attacks. Trump's people can simply play MSNBC's commentary on his inauguration as why he won't deal with people so unhinged. Conway should've also asked what Todd meant by Trump having "an asterisk" by his election.

We may not have to wait long for Trump's taxes to be revealed. Wikileaks is threatening to do so.

Thought they were stooges for Putin and that we should criminally investigate them and make their leader face trial.

You Lefties are not terribly consistent.

We all believe in free enterprise and competition. Why is the media industry viewed different? The various news outlets are in competition with each other. They have an interest in getting the facts right. If they are wrong they lose viewers and ad dollars. They are happy when their competitors screw up and misreport the facts. There is not a single MSM acting in lockstep.

Even you do not buy this, Steve. The media is in lockstep on most issues and have little concern with getting scoops.

Tell me, please, what the "CNN gigapixel" proves.

Chuck, I'd say it shows that the pictures the media tried to use to discount the crowd were full of shit. The MEDIA made it an issue and Trump didn't let it sit. Was his crowd as large as Obama's? Probably not. But it was closer to Obama's total than "maybe 10,000" as they were trying to peddle.

mikesixes said...

I think Todd's right. It does appear that the crowd was pretty small, possibly due to the anti-Trump dead-enders rioting and otherwise making an annoyance of themselves. It seems foolish for the Trump crew to make an issue of a trivial fact like that. I wonder, though, if Todd ever inquired as to why Obama sent Susan Rice around to all the talk shows to lie about Benghazi being a spontaneous demo that got out of hand. If not, this episode reinforces Trump's complaint about his treatment in the press.

Paul said...

Sorry gang but the statement, "around the GLOBE" kind of makes it unprovable way or another. The whole statement, "this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe."

Shesh... the MSM is just grasping at straws.

Chuck said...


Chuck, I'd say it shows that the pictures the media tried to use to discount the crowd were full of shit. The MEDIA made it an issue and Trump didn't let it sit. Was his crowd as large as Obama's? Probably not. But it was closer to Obama's total than "maybe 10,000" as they were trying to peddle.


But what a whole shitload of embarrassment for Trump, for nothing. No one (except Trump apparently) thinks that the 2017 inauguration was better attended than the 2009 inauguration. The easy thing would have been to say, "Who cares?" Trump didn't do that. Trump did the Trumpie thing. He claimed as many or more than the 2009 crowd. Trump claimed that it "looked like a million and a half people out there." And then he could have let that go, as mere hyperbole on his part, but then he sent Sean Spicer out, and then Kellyanne Conway out, to obfuscate some more.

Henry said...

It's not a draw. It's a TKO in the fourth round. To say the fight went on and was worth scoring is like pretending George Foreman beat Muhammad Ali because in the long run he sold more grills.

The damage done is not Conway's blundering defense of Spicer. Spicer is expendable. Conway is far more valuable to Trump and she should have let Spicer take the fall.

Michael K said...

And, Michael K, pretty much the only major source of income the Russians have is oil and gas.

Yes, McCain back when he made sense, said "Russia is a gas station with a foreign policy."

I skip chuck's contributions and I don't think I miss much,

Conway is far more valuable to Trump and she should have let Spicer take the fall.

I don't think you guys have figured this out yet, Trump and his team take NO slams form the MSM without hitting back.

I would have done things differently about the inauguration but I didn't win the election.

Guildofcannonballs said...

As Dwight said, and means still, maybe I will be fast as you.

Maybe I will break hearts too.

Maybe it won't be long.

Man in PA said...

I attended the inauguration but, because violent leftist demonstrators blocked my entrance, could not get inside in time for the swearing-in. I had to go to a different entrance which was doubly backed up and spend three and a half hours waiting to get in. Did Chuck Todd and the MSM report this? I didn't see anything about it.

I suspect the Trump numbers were correct for the mid-afternoon when everybody was finally able to get in. However, the MSM reports the morning figures when everybody was kept outside by demonstrators.

And, when I say the leftist demonstrators were "violent," I do not use hyperbole. They were punching and roughing up anybody who looked like a Trump supporter or who attempted to get near their line where they stood locked arm-in-arm.

Guildofcannonballs said...

paint a diiferent color,

On your front door.

And tomorrow,

We will STILL be there.

Hope you know a lot more,
Than you believe in,

Hope the sun don't hurt you,
When you cry.

Paint a different color,
On your front door.

And tomorrow, we will still be there.

Birkel said...

Chuck:

Can you please NOT talk about the PURPLE ELEPHANT? Thanks in advance, Team Trump.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Still means booze.

Known Unknown said...

Did Trump use the term "attended" or "watched?"

Just curious. The people on the Mall, those watching TV, and those streaming online vs. 2009 could technically be a larger total audience. How much increase in online streaming do you think there has been in seven years?

But ... whatever.

Birkel said...

Watched. But do NOT distract from the important PURPLE ELEPHANT discussion.

harryo said...

I can't believe NBC can find advertisers to buy this crap.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Chuck: you are right, you have not been mocking Conway for months like most of the Media has. I probably painted you with the same brush since your talking points lately are so very similar to the Media's, but you're right that I should be more careful.

chickelit said...

@Althouse: Another important issue from a scientific standpoint is the independent variable, time. The photo on the right was apparently taken much earlier (note how the Smithsonian clocktower's shadow was carefully cropped out of the photo. It could have acted as a sundial.

More proof that Dem partisans hate science.

chickelit said...

In other words, Conway's "alternative facts" are just facts gathered at a later time.

David in Cal said...

I think the win goes to Todd, because of the phrase "alternative facts". Of course, to say Todd won is to take for granted that he's a Democratic partisan, not a fair, unbiased news reporter.

chickelit said...

It's plausible that Trump's inauguration was watched by more people than Barack Obama's was, with "watched" to be determined. Likewise, it's plausible that Barack Obama claimed Kenyan citizenship at some point in his life. I think it's beyond dispute that someone claimed Kenyan citizenship for him. But, that's all moot now. let's just be careful next time.

chickelit said...

@David In Cal: I disagree, for reasons stated in the comment before yours.

wildswan said...

Originally I thought the pictures showed a smaller crowd for Trump than Obama.

But this is the alternate fact: :http://ijr.com/2017/01/783119-brit-hume-calls-bs-on-trump-and-obama-inauguration-pics-claims-theres-a-deceptive-trick-to-photos/

This alternate fact shows that:

1. The empty spaces in the NYT picture filled in later on so the NYT picture was a lie.
2. The crowd did go back to the Washington Monument.
3. There was huge crowd on each side of the steps which is cropped out from the NYT pictures.

Overall, this issue does not matter. The Democrat-media complex does not care whether Americans have jobs, whether schools are good and whether streets are safe. No Democrat has a plan to achieve these goals. Their only plan is to impeach Trump. The attempt will cause them to lose the next round of elections. Because people will see Trump causing jobs to come back, allowing charter schools for the poor kids and locking up gang members while the Democrats only talk - today, it's pictures, tomorrow, American workers are fascists, the next day some other talk. It never will be - How can I help Americans get jobs? Never. The Democrats have forgotten the workers and why shouldn't the workers forget the Democrats?

Known Unknown said...

Watched?

harryo said...

Fact: Obama had a bigger crowd.
Alternative Fact: Trump had more viewers.

Test question: Which fact can reap the most money from advertisers?

Andrew Pardue said...

Althouse said
I'm just scoring Conway's performance. I think she had a difficult side to take. What interests me is her hardball style and refusal to back down or even weaken. She was in a very tough position, Todd kept pummeling her, and she got stronger as she went along.

That doesn't mean Spicer did well or that the Trump team made a good decision to engage on this point, but I want to understand what I am seeing, which is hard fighting on absolutely everything. I've never seen politics done this way, and I'm not going to say it's ridiculous or it can't work, because things I didn't think should work have worked for Trump.

I'm trying to figure out, to see the moving parts and describe them.

I think for Trump politics is like a MMA fight, in a way, I think he is just going to try to beat the press into submission, basically fight them on everything until they start to give in. That has been his MO since he has entered the public sphere 35 years ago, basically half his life. It used to be that crowd size on the national mall was calculated by the park service but after the million man march they quit. There isn't any real objective view on it any more mostly the press just reports what ever any group claims attended as the number, except for groups like the march for life which the press always disputes for some reason.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

I will point out that Chuck Todd never got in his facts for his assertion of a provable falsehood.

PaoloP said...

I believed - reading your comments on Tucker Carlson - you find this kind of interviews to be annoying.

It would have been better for Trump's team to quickly concede they overreacted, given the pettiness of the issue at hand; instead, they should point out more forcefully that the press, once again, dismissed the violence on the Dems side as something more or less normal.

Andrew Pardue said...

I used to live in the DC area and I used to spend a lot of time on the mall. I also went to Bush 41's inauguration and the crowd only filled maybe filled in back to about a quarter of the first section on the other side of the Capital reflecting pool. I know this because I was near the back. So that is about 300,000 given the Capital grounds themselves hold 250,000. Trumps crowd looks to be about the same size as Clintons first crowd. Fighting over crowd size is a distraction and pretty meaningless as it is.

Back to the original question, I think this serves a message to Congress. Trump is saying to Congress, "There isn't anything to trivial or small that I won't fight you over it. I may even come out of it looking bad, and I don't care, I can still hurt you and bloody you up and fight you again and again and again, ...and again. I will never back down and I will win more often then I loose."

Annie said...

Wasn't Chuck Todd part of the Clinton team back in the day?

traditionalguy said...

For all the amateur Political Consultants out there tut tuting and warning Trump to surrender to NBC, please remember DJT already has won the loyalty of the people who elected him by promising to fight for them.

He long ago established a Godfather Relationship with those voters, and they will return a needed favor when Trump-Daddy's people need help in scuffles with the Fake News Rubes.

DJT just gets in tighter and tighter with his people, as the 2018 Mid terms approach in 18 months.

hombre said...

How about: 'So Chuck, how many people do you say were there? If Spicer's statement was a "provable falsehood, please feel free to prove it false here and now."

I don't like Kellyanne's use of "alternate facts." I prefer "alternate reality" as in, "Chuck, we think the public is entitled to an alternate reality from the one fabricated by the news media, a case in point being the bogus attack on Rick Perry fabricated by the NYT. As for the crowd size, how many people were there, exactly?"

tim in vermont said...

If Todd were not so in the tank for Hillary and Obama, imagine a similar back and forth on "keep your plan" for example, people might still trust the press and Trump wouldn't be POTUS.

Daniel Jackson said...

I'm having a bit of a problem with the nature of this issue. I watched the inauguration speech with CNN streaming in France. So, all I could see of the crowd was what the photography editor allowed me to see. I remembered several shots, however, where the editor slipped vigilance and the entire Mall area was briefly visible--crowded from the Capital to the Washington Monument.

I just rewatched the coverage with the Guardian's replay: https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2017/jan/20/donald-trump-inauguration-speech-full-video

Crowd shots can be seen at 2:56, 3:30, 6:00, 8:37, 13:13, 15:14-8, 16:19 minutes where the Mall is clearly covered from Stem to Stern with people rather than grass.

As a photographer, I know well the use of reportage and fauxtography. It does not take a lot of skill to wait for the crowd to disperse and use those images to send the message that "Oh, that Trump! Who is Trump anyway? Look at all that empty space!"

When we look at "live coverage," we see the reportage that the editor wants us to see. The aftermath, when people are leaving a rainy, muddy, cold stretch of public grass, it is very easy to come up with shots to prove a point.

Why were these images not included in the coverage of The Donald's speech? There are a wonderful array of multi-cultural faces; why not the empty Mall shots (perhaps the aerial photographers were not permitted to fly over the Mall during the ceremony?).

In Israel, I've seen coverage of a mass of angry protesters where the handful of participants were outnumbered by photographers and reporters covered with angles and lens to inflate the size. Why not the opposite tactic to diminish?

I confess, I was mystified by the self-righteousness of the MSM who claim poor attendance when what little footage that escaped the editors clearly showed the opposite.

The underlying premise in this entire debate is that images do not lie, which is bullshit. Fauxtography is the coin of the realm in reportage. Of course, this is merely a derivative of the well known premise that the MSM does not lie.

Show us the unedited footage if you, MSM, are so sure of your factoids. I believe this is the requirement in a court of law regarding copyright infringement of images. Show us the raw footage and end the debate.

Until then, Mr. Trump's eyewitness reporting of what he saw on the Mall, in front of him, is as valid as any other person who was present.

Sara D said...

this is a panoramic view of the crowd, taken by CNN during President Trump's speech. It looks like a lot of people to me.


http://edition.cnn.com/interactive/2017/01/politics/trump-inauguration-gigapixel/

AprilApple said...

Our media is Hollywood. Hollywood is leftwing. Media is leftwing. It's all leftwing bias, all the time. It's all cover democrat lies / exaggerate GOP nothing-burgers - all the time.

Too bad the tolerant left cannot shut down alternative voices and have a state run pro-corruption media that stomps on ALL free speech. They are working on it.

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, I think Glenn Reynolds has published something at 8:00 (Eastern) which addresses this issue.

FWIW I agree with Sara and Daniel Jackson -- what I saw on TV was a packed mall. Would more have come if there weren't protestors threating violence against Trump supporters (and in some cases delivering on their threats)? Who knows.

Big Mike said...

Make that 8:55.

JAORE said...

There have been disputes over crowd size many times in the past. The NPS even gave up on crowd estimates because they wanted out of the eye of that particular storm.

Were Trump's crowd largest in all recorded history? Doubt it. Was the Press Secretary wrong? Likely.

But where Todd lost, and undermined his profession further, is equating this nothing burger of a "lie" with, "We'll never believe you again".

Crap, can Todd think of NO "lie" from an Obama spokesperson (I nominate Susan Rice post Benghazi as a single example) that was bigger and/or more important than crowd size? (Sad to say I'm not sure Todd is capable of such.)

Did any of these cause Todd to say they'll never believe another word out of the Obama crowd? Of course not.

Joe J said...

Did we not hear Conway threaten to black ball NBC/Meet the Press in the 're-evaluate our relationship' remark?

Did she not try and intimidate the host with the 'so you're really gonna challenge US on this with your piddling 14 percent approval rating' comment?