May 20, 2018

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway on Sunday went to bat for Fox News host Sean Hannity, explaining that he offered "unique content" instead of fact-based reporting.

While speaking to Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter on CNN, Conway opined that Donald Trump was one of the most "transparent" and "accountable" presidents in history.

"I'd love for him to come on your network," Conway told the CNN host. "But he's happy to send me -- I think we're into 17 minutes now."

"What he does is he attacks CNN and he calls The New York Times 'crooked' and he smears these news outlets instead," Stelter interrupted. "I wonder, 10 or 20 years from now, if you're going to be proud of that? You know, on a personal level, will you be proud that he tried to tear down news outlets?"

"He's not trying to tear down news outlets," Conway insisted. "He's trying to get some fair and full coverage. And I've been very clear from day one, Brian, that my main objective will always be full coverage, complete coverage."

"That's why we cover the unemployment rate and the economy," Stelter noted.

For her part, Conway complained that the press should have been covering Trump's prison initiative on Friday instead of spending so much time on the school shooting in Santa Fe.

"I don't think anybody should feel proud about obsessive coverage on one or two things," she said, "to the exclusion of all the things Americans tell us in the White House every single day they want to hear more about."

Stelter pointed to reports that Fox News host Sean Hannity has served as a "shadow chief of staff" for the president.

Conway stated that she doesn't "coordinate with Sean Hannity."

"There's nothing to coordinate," she continued. "Why would we need to coordinate? What is there to coordinate? I have a relationship with the president. I speak with him regularly. Sean is running the highest rated TV show on cable and I think there's a reason for that." [Ed. Note: She's wrong, but that shouldn't surprise you]

"He's providing information that people can't find anywhere else," Conway added. "Sean would have low ratings if he was talking about everything else everybody's talking about. Think about that for a moment. People are starved for unique content and they seem to not be getting it elsewhere."

Speaking of "unique content," journalism professor and media analyst Jay Rosen muses on why these 24 hour cable news channels continue to book Conway, despite her penchant for "alternative facts".

Conway went on to praise Hannity for covering Hillary Clinton, even though she lost the presidential race.

"It is relevant because it talks about the upper echelons of the FBI and what was going on," she remarked.

"We should know who committed crimes in any campaign," Stelter replied.

Hannity's ethics have come under fire in recent months after it was revealed that he had a relationship with Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen. Hannity has also been assailed for reporting conspiracy theories that are later proved not to be true.

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