She's glib, I'll give her that. Listening to Kellyanne Conway defend Donald J. Trump is one of the new lessons in propaganda that we are now witnessing; lie about the truth and state that what really happened never really happened. This morning I forced myself to sit through the interview with Kellyanne and Chris Cuomo about Meryl Streep on CNN and it was difficult, to say the least.
I still wake up in the morning with that election day stomach ache, so where did I get the energy to watch Kellyanne?
Why in a movie, of course. I recently watched a solid drama about Stalin's Soviet Union called “East/West." It was recommended to me by a friend who had left communist Hungary and now lives here in the golden state. I often ask her what life was like back in the old country. What was it like to not have the freedom of thought and speech? She told me that the film would give me a hint of the oppression.
She was right, it got under my skin and then shortly after I watched Kellyanne.
Truth and lies.
It all started when Meryl Streep smacked Trump hard on television and he got mad and when he's mad he tweets.
In what is becoming standard operating procedure for this new administration a Trump tweet storm needs to be cleaned up. Kellyanne is sent out to tell us that there was no storm after all. Keep calm and carry on.
The interview was a volley about the infamous rally where Trump mocked a New York Times reporter who is disabled.
Cuomo batted a truth and Kellyanne vaulted back a lie couched in her soon to be trademarked fast-talk. The words fly, but they have no substance.
How did I find the strength?
What offended Trump so? Was it the reference to the New York Times journalist Serge Kovaleski who he mocked (he is disabled) or Streep's mentions of all the actors at the show who came from humble backgrounds with no family money to catch them if they fell. People whose only inheritance were our American values; dreams that come true through hard work and nothing to stop you, not even the tweets of a President-elect.
He tweeted his disapproval of Streep and referred to her as a "Hillary flunky." Take that Hillary women!
Tweeting isn't news, it's a opinion thrown out into the world with no accountability. It is not in any way the act of governing, but if a politician is a propagandist they have to control the message and twitter is a useful device.
The purpose of propaganda is twofold: It can control unrest among people and also provide cover for any unethical things going on behind closed doors. The day of the tweet storm, coincidentally, news about the confirmation hearings for Trump's cabinet centered around the Government Ethics Office. Trump is rushing the confirmations even though all the ethics reports have yet to be completed. What's an appointee without an ethics report? Unaccountable.
Chris Cuomo did what needed to be done, he challenged Conway with the facts and it was good to watch. What was more interesting is what I learned from her.
Ms. Conway tried her best to rewrite history that has plainly been recorded for all to see; Trump's mocking of Kovaleski.
Cuomo: “Is she wrong that it was wrong for Trump to make gestures like that about a man like that with disabilities?”
Conway: “That is not what he did and he has said that a thousand times, as he tweeted out today, he has said a hundred times.”
Cuomo: “He can say it a million times, look at the video.”
Conway boldly replies with a re-write.
Conway: “He was mocking the groveling.”
Groveling? Look at the video. Go to the source. The proof is there.
If that recording is ever changed it will be witnessed by all of us. So what is the next best thing to changing that recording of Trump mocking the journalist? Saying that we saw it incorrectly. Telling us that it is we who have the problem. Forcing us to accept their new interpretation of the gesture as something else entirely.
Conway believes, I think, that if she says it often enough the critique of Trump's bullying and childish behavior will stop and we all say that he was really, “...mocking the groveling.” In other words, we will also believe the lie.
That is how facts are changed. This is how people begin to doubt their own eyes. That is control.
by Jennifer Hall Lee