Every now and then, a major cable news anchor decides they want to take a run at the Trump administration’s favorite media champion, Kellyanne Conway; yesterday, it was venerated CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour.
Amanpour knows her stuff and did her absolute best to press Conway on Trump’s response to two mass shootings over the weekend. As is her well-established style, Conway managed to spin a convoluted mess of talking points and doublespeak without saying anything new. There’s a good case to be made for major cable news networks just refusing to allow Conway on their air, because this is basically what happens whenever they do, even when a skilled interviewer takes their best shot.
Here’s how it went down: Amanpour asked, essentially, “Will Trump stop all this hatred now?” which Kellyanne batted away easily, saying “he already did,” and then crediting the president with “not responding in kind” to people who “attacked” him over his rhetoric.
Amanpour, to her credit, came with the receipts, playing a clip of Trump using near-identical language to the El Paso shooter and laughing about shooting immigrants at a rally. Conway doesn’t answer to that, pivoting instead to the president’s denouncement of white supremacy and his push to give the shooter the death penalty.
Amanpour tries again, asking to move on from the death penalty subject to speak about domestic terrorism, which prompts a wild, unhinged rant about, in short: 9/11, drugs coming over the border, fentanyl, the opioid epidemic. Again: she’s doing her job, but doing her job with Kellyanne Conway is utterly futile. This is a woman who literally does not care that her job regularly pits her against her blowhard husband in the national media. Nothing matters!
So where are we now? What good did this interview do? Conway slithered away having successfully defended the president (i.e., never admitting he’s done anything wrong, focusing instead on things he has done or just tangential stories that further his rhetoric and generally drowning out Amanpour’s valid questions). On Twitter, Conway is now focused on calling attention to the Dayton shooter’s apparent support for some leftist causes:
Are we better off for her TV appearance yesterday? No. Is the president? Well, it certainly didn’t hurt. Good luck to the next anchor who decides to try it, but I’m not holding my breath.