Conway Blasts Chuck Todd: ‘You’ve Missed It All Along’
Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway flayed NBC News’ “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd Sunday for acting like an “opinion columnist” instead of an objective “news person” when he charged White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer held a “ridiculous” first briefing Saturday.
Spicer received heated criticism from the mainstream media when he rebuked them for their “deliberately false reporting” on President Donald Trump’s Inauguration Day. Todd took issue with Spicer’s assertion the Trump administration is “going to hold the press accountable.”
“The way that you just laughed at me is actually symbolic of the way, very representative of the way we’re treated by the press.”
“Your job is not to give your opinion, Chuck,” Conway responded. “Respectfully, your job is not to call things ‘ridiculous’ that are said by our press secretary and our president. That’s not your job. You’re supposed to be a news person. You’re not an opinion columnist.”
When Todd pressed her again for an answer concerning the Trump administration’s “motive to have this ridiculous litigation of crowd size,” Conway shot back.
“I’ll answer it this way. Think about what you just said to your viewers. That’s why we felt compelled to go out and clear the air and put alternative facts out there,” Conway said.
Spicer’s main two criticisms of the media’s inauguration coverage centered on comparing Trump’s smaller crowd to former President Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration and a TIME Magazine reporter’s false claims that Trump had removed the bust of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. from the Oval Office. When Conway said that the media couldn’t completely “quantify” inauguration crowd numbers, Todd laughed.
“You can laugh at me all you want … and I think it’s actually symbolic of the way we are treated by the press,” Conway said. “The way that you just laughed at me is actually symbolic of the way — very representative of the way we’re treated by the press. I’ll just ignore it. I’m bigger than that. I’m a kind and gracious person.”
“But let me tell you something else,” Conway continued. “I’m really glad that NBC News and Chuck Todd all of a sudden are so thrilled to cover crowd control [sic] because we were mocked daily for talking about the significance of our historic rallies during the campaign.”
Conway proceeded to note the “historic crowds” Trump drew to his rallies in key states such as Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan. While the press loved to report Trump’s relatively smaller inauguration crowd in D.C., those same outlets largely ignored the size of Trump’s rallies.
“And on great days we were ignored and on most days we were mocked. And those crowds did matter because he built a movement the likes of which people hadn’t seen,” Conway said. “For me, I think the most quantifiable points of interest for Americans should be what just happened a few months ago that brought him here.”
Although Conway noted that Nielsen ratings showed Trump’s inauguration drew more remote viewers than Obama’s 2013 inauguration and garnered the second-highest viewership in 36 years, she lamented the media’s overwhelming desire to produce “presumptively negative” and “unfair and incomplete” coverage of Trump.
“I’m about things that are quantifiable and important. I don’t think ultimately presidents are judged by the sizes of their inauguration. I think they’re judged by their accomplishments,” Conway said.
At the end of their tense interview, Conway offered one final jab.
“But you want to talk about things the media doesn’t want to cover? You totally missed Brexit and Theresa May. You totally missed Trump’s campaign. You want to talk about provable facts? You’ve missed it all along,” Conway told Todd. “I mean look. You’ve got a 14 percent approval rating in the media that you’ve earned. You want to push back on us, and yet you have a 14 percent approval rating.”