It’s time to vanquish Trump administration spinmeisters Kelleyanne Conway, Stephen Miller and others to the netherworld of propaganda-promoting television channels, Fox News, which should be the only home for tall-tale tellers intent on practicing fact-less political storytelling.
All that is needed for this to happen is for network producers or booking managers to conduct more intense vetting of Conway, Miller and other spokespeople before offering them a chair — or monitor — opposite high-profile news anchors and reporters.
Instead of simply alerting the White House that their shows will be covering a controversial topic and allowing the Trumpsters to tap one of their terrible talking heads to appear on air, news shows should provide specific questions that White House representatives will need to answer. With facts. Truthfully. Not alternative facts. Hard-researched information that will be useful to the viewing public.
If during the vetting process the White House message managers won’t provide on-point previews of how they will respond — not spilling all the beans, but enough so that the interviewer will be able to elicit useful information during the conversation — they should be told, “Thanks, but no thanks; we’ll find someone else to fill the spot.”
It’s time to end the practice of cutting the administration’s talking heads any slack as they deal with the nation’s relentless — thank goodness — press corps.
These so-called media handlers need to be prepared for tough questions and thorough interviews and act professionally when confronted with cold, hard facts on any given issue. No more “riffs” into themes of the day developed by the master administration marketer, Donald J. Trump.
Give George Stephanopoulos and other Sunday talk show anchors credit this weekend, they pretty much shut down Miller’s rant concerning the ongoing White House attack on voter fraud in the last election. You know, the one where the president claims he would have won the popular vote (as well as the electoral count) had 3-5 million undocumented immigrants not voted in November.
Stephanopoulos provided the best push back (check out Business Insider’s recap at businessinsider.com). He told Miller toward the end of the interview, “You have provided zero evidence of the president’s claim that he would have won the popular vote if 3 million to 5 million illegal immigrants hadn’t voted. . . . Thanks a lot for joining us this morning.”
Yes, the anchors were tough yesterday, but they shouldn’t have to be. These talking heads — Conway, Miller and others — should never have a seat at the table without tougher screening. If they can’t provide evidence, facts to support their allegations and accusations against those who oppose their point of view, they shouldn’t get air time. They can tweet, post to Facebook or communicate their points of view through a host of other vehicles. They’re entitled to voice their side of the story.
The American viewing public, however, should not be subjected to propaganda of this magnitude. The attempt to create an alternative reality — based on the imagination of the man in the White House — needs to stop airing on network news shows. It is contributing to the division among us, and as long as we are a divided nation, the future of this experiment in democracy — 240 years and counting — is in danger.
Producers/bookers hold the keys to the doors of mainstream news programs. They should take this responsibility — who gets the keys — very seriously. No longer should Conway, Miller or anyone else who deals in lies, misinformation and uneducated statements be allowed to mislead the vast television viewing public.