Now this is how you interview a member of the most corrupt administration in U.S. history

Back in December of 2016, I attended a panel at the University of Michigan called Covering Trump: The Presidency and The Press in Turbulent Times. In retrospect, the conversation between the journalists on the panel that evening, who represented news entities like the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, and the Washington Post, was quaint. At least that’s how it looks to me now, as I sit here, reading over my notes. It’s amazing to me, looking back on it three years later, how much time and effort people in journalism poured into the debate over whether they should refer to Donald Trump’s lies as “lies,” or call the something else, like “falsehoods.” Of course, while the well-meaning members of the fourth estate were deciding how to talk about Donald Trump in a way that reflected time-honored norms, the President and his supporters were going on the offensive, calling members of the press “enemies of the people,” and demanding that the press always always cover both sides with equivalent deference, regardless of whether one side was telling the truth, and the other was not. And, somehow, we allowed them to be successful.

As Dan Froomkin, the editor of Press Watch, said recently, “If you’d asked New York Times editors five years ago whether people who deny basic facts, traffic in conspiracy theories, demonize immigrants, and otherwise fight against a pluralistic society should be given equal (or more than equal) time in their news columns, they would have said no.” But, somehow, that’s exactly the point we’ve gotten to.

So, with that said, I’m always on the lookout for members of the press who stand up to people in the administration, unafraid of offending them, and speak the truth. And there was a great example of that today, when NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly, the host of All Things Considered, refused to let Trump administration Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lie his way out of a question about his refusal to defend one of his State Department employees, Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, against the relentless, factually-incorrect, and cruel attacks that have been directed at her from the White House. Here, if you’ve yet to hear it, is how it went down.

And, for what it’s worth, it didn’t end there. Pompeo apparently went after Kelly once the interview was done, saying that no one gave a “fuck” about Ukraine, and challenging her to find Ukraine on a map… which, of course, she was able to do.

I don’t have time to go much further on this tonight, but suffice it to say that I’m of the belief that what Mike Pompeo has done to our State Department diplomatic corps is absolutely criminal. I’ll just leave you with the following quote from former U.S. career diplomat Nicholas Burns. “The rank and file are very disturbed by the inability, the refusal, of the secretary of state to defend his own people,” he said. And, this, of course, is important because, without diplomacy, we’re so much closer to war.

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24 Comments

  1. Kim
    Posted January 24, 2020 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    Kelly is a Harvard grad with a masters degree in European Studies from Cambridge. Pompeo thought she couldn’t find Ukraine on a map because he’s a sexist piece of shit.

  2. iRobert
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    It’s incredible to get moments of insight into what a low level these folks are operating at. It appears that Pompao thinks being able to identify Ukraine on a map of Eastern Europe is an extraordinary accomplishment. I suppose for these brain-dead stooges it actually is. It’s frightening that interactions this dumb are occurring among any adults, let alone among the members of the cabinet.

  3. Wobblie
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Aloha, I’ve been in a lot of fights in my life both physical and political. Some fights are unavoidable others are premeditated. In all of these I learned that if you are going to start a fight you better have the resources to win. And be ready to use the weapons you have. Losing a fight that you initiate always empowers the loser.
    I’ve been watching the impeachment trial. The Democrats maintain that if Trump is not removed from office, his acquittal will be tantamount to making the president a dictator. The Imperial Presidency will be truly established.
    Is anyone expecting any other result? Have we seen the Dictators support in the Senate wavering?
    Hitler had his enabling act. Trump will have his acquittal.
    I hope all you pro-impeachment folks are feeling really good. It must have been like this in Japan on December 8 when they realized they had not succeeded in destroying a single US carrier.
    Since we have now elevated this fight to an existential fight for our democracy the Democrats in Congress who wanted this fight better be prepared to go at it 100%. The one power that cannot be stripped from the House is appropriations. They better start defunding the autocrat or they will be complicit.
    Another set of impeachment articles on the emmoulument clause and violation of war powers act would also seem in order. Calls for mass mobilizations of people prepared to defend democracy would be in order. If you missed your civil diobedeance training during occupy, it looks like there will be an opportunity for remedial education.
    I have always liked the idea of shutting down the bridge and tunnel myself.

  4. Steve Silberman by proxy
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    Make no mistake: Pompeo’s meltdown, Trump’s rants, the continuous “outrage” of Trump’s lawyers, the Kavanaugh whinefest – it’s all the same trick: using explosive male rage to intimidate people asking smart questions about their crimes.

  5. John Brown
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Wob, there’s no good way to deal with a malignant narcissistic personality disordered psycho. Their flexible reality allows them to turn every inaction or action against you. Since you can’t win playing by the rules with psychos, you act out of your own integrity so you can live with yourself going forward. I commend the House Dems for their integrity. Whatever comes next I hope they continue to fight for integrity.

  6. Wobblie
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Aloha JB spoken like a real loser. It’s not whether you win or loose it’s how you play the game. What liberal rubbish. The House says Trump attempted to cheat the election and that “he will do it again”. They are saying the next election will be a fraud. Are you just another summer soldier?

  7. Posted January 25, 2020 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Revealing himself, yet once again, to be an utter prick, Pompeo has responded, suggesting that Kelly identified Bangladesh as Ukraine.

  8. Posted January 25, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink

  9. Demetrius
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    “decency”

  10. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Wobblie the streetfighter! Did you ever kick anyone’s ass in all those fights, Wob?

  11. wobblie
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Aloha HW–yes. Any fight I picked I won. Some times friends and allies would draw me in and we might not win, after all I do believe in solidarity. One hard lesson I learned, in litigation never appeal a case that stands a better than 50% chance of losing. When you lose on appeal you set the precedent. Any case like the one you lose on appeal will now be substantially weaker. There is no legal appeal from the Senate, every President from now on will be free to ignore Congressional subpoenas. So much for checks and balance.
    Political fights are more like physical fights, after all coercion or the threat of coercion is the ultimate decider. If you are not prepared to go to the mattresses, don’t get involved the fight.

  12. iRobert
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Pompeo is emotional because he’s owned, and he’s one of the cut-outs between the play callers and Trump. Cut-outs often get whacked, and through no fault of their own (except maybe when they convinced someone they’d be a good cut-out).

  13. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    Oh I thought you said you have been in lots of physical or ‘street’ fights.

  14. iRobert
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    I should have said “map of the world” rather than “map of Eastern Europe.”

  15. Anonymous
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    Steven Beschloss in today’s Washington Post:

    “When civility means treating both sides as equal, when a mind-bending onslaught of lies…is expected to be met with courtesy, a demand for civility risks becoming an instrument of power…to neutralize or even silence criticism & critics.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/01/25/little-civility-can-be-dangerous-thing-even-impeachment-trial/

  16. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 26, 2020 at 2:57 am | Permalink

    Ironic in the extreme since everything the deep staters say is a lie. They are trying to save themselves from prosecution. That’s what is going on. To see actual Americans buy it is terrifying. You’ve bought everything all along though haven’t you?

    Time to get fucked up. The good thing for you as I have said all along is when the deep state is totally destroyed everyone will benefit. Then you will be like “God damn, why was I such a dumbass my whole life? Sorry, HW. You were right about everything and I was a major dickhead.”

  17. Frosted Flakes
    Posted January 26, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    It is bizarre that many here do not at least see some of the red flags. Watching some of these people dig their own graves every single day is a sight to see. I hope you are still trying to save these pages, HW.

  18. Jean Henry
    Posted January 26, 2020 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    “I hope you are still trying to save these pages, HW.“

    Reminds me of how drunks and other addicts and narcissists will make lists of everyone they love and how they have supposedly betrayed them or been unethical or untrustworthy. Tallies of resentment. The most crazed will share those lists with others imagining the readers will suddenly see things as they do. In fact, the readers only see the nonsensical rantings of an unhinged person. The response is most often pity. At least among the kind hearted.

    Delusion is not universal, but some ate in deeper than others.

  19. Frosted Flakes
    Posted January 26, 2020 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    You have no idea Jean.

  20. Frosted Flakes
    Posted January 26, 2020 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    “When civility means treating both sides as equal, when a mind-bending onslaught of lies…is expected to be met with courtesy, a demand for civility risks becoming an instrument of power…to neutralize or even silence criticism & critics.”

    I know it is rude to insult our host but I often feel compelled to do it anyway. Similar logic. Many here have no clue.

  21. Jean Henry
    Posted January 26, 2020 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    FF— everyone here seems to feel very happy to insult the host without asking themselves why they are here at all if they don’t like the joint.

    I know you like to believe you alone here possess the key to reason and logic and so truth, but your total inability to see any merit in any other viewpoint is a signifier of the depth of your delusion. We could go round and round with this In know you are but what am I talk’ but it evades the essential question we all must ask, ‘why are we here on MM.com?’

    I have my answer.

  22. Jean Henry
    Posted January 26, 2020 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Ps the false equivalencies to which Mark referred are a classic tool of misinformation.

  23. Frosted Flakes
    Posted January 26, 2020 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Jean,

    I have my answer too! I always have. I have repeatedly said I love this place. It is a treasure trove. I love you, Mark, Lynne and others. That is the reason I am very happy HW is saving these pages. It would be a shame if these pages were somehow lost at some point, because these pages deserve their rightful place in history…The shameless voice of ignorant liberal thought/propaganda that arose out of a regional bubble that insulated the college educated, brain washed, susceptible to propaganda types from feeling the need that they needed to use reason.

    It’s great what you guys put on display for everyone to see! Keep up the good work!

  24. Posted January 28, 2020 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    The most vile man to ever hold the office of president has weighed in.

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