I hate when that happens! There's some keystroke that publishes a post. I'm still not sure what it is, but I manage to hit it from time to time. Now, you're wondering what the hell this post title means. And the previous post title is enigmatic, so perhaps you think I've lost my mind.
Here are the 2 Washington Post articles I am reading:
1. From February 13th: "Journalist says Omarosa Manigault bullied her and mentioned a ‘dossier’ on her."
2. From February 14th (referring to the same juournalist, April Ryan): "‘This is . . . Nixonian’: Reporter was taped by White House in heated exchange."
Both articles are by Paul Farhi. The first article describes a dispute between Manigault and Ryan, and you can see that the headline highlights Ryan's version of the story. This is from the middle of Farhi's article:
In October, Manigault sent Ryan an email raising questions about whether Ryan was being paid by Hillary Clinton’s campaign — a claim Ryan vigorously denies. Manigault included a link to an article from the Intercept ["EXCLUSIVE: New Email Leak Reveals Clinton Campaign’s Cozy Press Relationship"]...Ryan's name was in the Intercept article, and Manigault pushed Ryan to protect her "legacy" and "integrity."
Ryan said she was devastated by any intimation that she was unethical. “It’s just ugly,” she said. “She’s trying to harm my integrity and my career. I’ve been [covering the White House] for 20 years. I plan to be here for the next 20 years. You don’t mess with someone’s livelihood.”I don't understand why Ryan is attacking Manigault for something that was in The Intercept. Was The Intercept right or wrong? Attacking Manigault makes it look like The Intercept got it right. Farhi doesn't explore that puzzlement. Here's his next paragraph:
During their altercation...How did the "altercation" start? Suddenly, there's a face-to-face encounter? We're just plunged into the middle of things!
... Ryan said Manigault told her that she was among several African American journalists who were the subject of White House “dossiers.” Manigault has previously said that Trump is keeping “a list” of opponents, though at the time she was referring to Republicans who voted against Trump.What makes it into the headline is the idea of "dossiers." (An interesting word, given the fake-news Trump dossier of 4 weeks ago.) It sounds very creepy and scurrilous, the keeping of dossiers on journalists. Why it sounds... Nixonian.
Ryan said she dismissed the idea of any such dossiers. “I said, ‘Good for you, good for you, good for you.’ ”...
One day later, the news is that the conversation was recorded and the word "dossier" isn't there. Ryan's story is shot to hell. And what's in the headline? Ryan's using the word "Nixonian" to describe the practice of recording conversations.
Ryan said she was not aware that her run-in with Manigault last week was recorded. “I didn’t know she was taping it,” she said. “This is about her trying to smear my name. This is freaking Nixonian.”It may be Nixonian to record conversations, but this incident shows it was smart, since it gives Manigault a way to defend herself.
Manigault said the White House’s press staff recorded the encounter and that its contents make clear she never threatened Ryan or mentioned “dossiers.”
“She came in [to the White House press-staff area] hot,” hurling insults at her, Manigault said. “She came in with an attitude. For her to characterize me as the bully — I’m so glad we have this tape … because it’s ‘liar, liar, pants on fire’ ” in Ryan’s case, Manigault said.
Farhi tells us that Washington D.C. has a "one-party consent" law, which would mean that Manigault recording Ryan without her knowledge is not illegal, but:
Several veteran White House reporters said interviews are sometimes recorded by officials but that it was unheard of to do so without a reporter’s prior knowledge.I'd like to hear more about the etiquette of recording. If it's done surreptitiously, that might explain why reporters do not hear of it. Maybe what's special in this case is how quickly Manigault offered the assertion of the existence of a recording to defend herself. One reason to do that would be if there actually is no recording and Manigault is simply trying to force Ryan into changing her story. But that's extremely unlikely given that Farhi writes that "a handful of reporters" have heard the recording. One of them, Fox News White House reporter John Roberts, said that he heard "some terse words and accusations... but it didn’t amount to a confrontation," and that he did not hear the word "dossier."
Ryan stood by her account and charged that Manigault “selected pieces” of their exchange. “She wants to spin it like it’s a catfight, but she edited that tape,” she said. “You don’t hear her screaming. This is about her smearing me.”And that's where we stand. Ryan got some big press and now she's on the defensive. Why did The Washington Post help her go on the offensive on February 13th and then again boost her on the 14th, calling Manigault "Nixonian"? When does Manigault get fair balance in The Washington Post?