October 26, 2016

In a conversation with Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, CNN's Wolf Blitzer expressed fear and concern for the embedded reporters covering Trump:

I'm not objective. I'm on the Reporters' Committee for Freedom of the Press and I really believe in a free press. and I'm sure do you as well. The journalists who are traveling with them all the time. They're in this pen. He points to them. He sort of eggs the crowd on to go after them. And there are a lot of young journalists sometimes. ...He shouldn't be doing that. Can you talk to him? They're hard working young journalists and they deserve security. Some of those Trump supporters get pretty nasty.

Kellyanne, of course, changes the subject, to the charges brought by the heavily edited James O'Keefe video, and spews some lies about "Democratic operatives" starting violence at Trump rallies. She also says that's the "only violence I've seen" at the rallies. Really.

Then she says this.

"I'll make a deal with them."

I don't think Wolf heard her. "They're in their 20s and 30s. they're young journalists."

But Kellyanne has a complaint about their job performance. "For some of them, the Twitter feed. We've done an analysis. 85, 90% negative toward Donald Trump. They didn't hear anything good that day? Something that you could put on your Twitter feed? You're right. I believe in a free press. a noble and honest press...."

Wolf won't be sidetracked. "He can criticize the press. I'm hoping he's watching us now and I hope in the final days, he doesn't continue to point out, as he often does, "Look at them! They're disgusting!" Because God forbid there could be an ugly incident and it worries me every time I hear that. I hear the stories from the journalists who are very scared."

Kellyanne still seems to think it's a quid pro quo: "I appreciate you saying that and it will be conveyed. They need to be fair and honest. and complete."

Seriously, the campaign manager is saying that if journalists covering Trump rallies want her candidate to stop issuing incitements to his rabid audience, they need to Tweet nicer? It's time for some consequences for Trump beyond just losing this election. The news media and its corporate ownership should hold Trump accountable, on-air, for each instance of incitement of violence against embedded reporters.

And I don't ever again want to hear how "professional" Kellyanne Conway is. She''s just tried to bargain for better Twitter coverage with reporters' safety.

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