The lengths that the Trump team is going to in order to delegitimize Tuesday night’s report (and legitimate journalism) that Russia has dirt on Trump must mean there’s stuff in it they’re really scared of. It’s also a larger scheme to delegitimize legitimate journalism in general.
This is the way fascist regimes behave, by destroying the freedom of the press. This is why Meryl Streep stood up for journalists in her speech. Shep Smith called it out last night, and Anderson Cooper spent nearly 20 minutes battling back against Kellyanne Conway and her attempts to label legitimate news “fake”.
Here’s a bit of the transcript:
ANDERSON COOPER (HOST): At today’s press conference, Sean Spicer, conflated unsubstantiated claims that BuzzFeed released with what CNN reported and I was surprised by that, because he said BuzzFeed and CNN made the decision to run with the unsubstantiated claim. That’s simply not true. What CNN said is that CNN is not reporting on details of that memo as it has not independently corroborated the specific allegations. Do you acknowledge here and now that CNN did not release the 35-page unsubstantiated claims against Donald Trump and it was misleading and untrue for Sean Spicer to suggest otherwise?
KELLYANNE CONWAY: No. Our incoming press secretary Sean Spicer was exactly right, as was the president-elect, Anderson. CNN went first yesterday and BuzzFeed went second.
COOPER: We didn’t report what Buzzfeed reported.
CONWAY: I didn’t say that you did but you linked to it in your story.
COOPER: Sean Spicer said we did.
CONWAY: Let me just tell you — Anderson, let’s back up. I know CNN must be feeling the heat today of having a headline yesterday at around 6:30 p.m. that said, quote, “Intel chiefs presented Trump with information that Russia had information to compromise him.” That is just false. And as you saw through NBC News reports today, tweets from people at Politico — no friend of Donald Trump –, and frankly a lot of outlets, print and electronic outlets, so reluctant and hesitant to go forward with anything close to what CNN or BuzzFeed did. I know you want to distance yourself from BuzzFeed but you went first.
COOPER: Again, you’re conflating what BuzzFeed —
CONWAY: No, I’m conflating nothing, I just know what CNN did. Anderson, you know, you are a responsible journalist. You’ve gone all over the world, you’re widely respected.
COOPER: What’s inaccurate about what CNN reported?
CONWAY: Oh my goodness, the whole headline. Go read the entire story. Four bylines and a story that’s just not true that the president-elect was presented with this information, that it was appended in a two-page document to the briefing. NBC has said it was not. Other people have said it was not.
COOPER: NBC has said it was not verbally presented and CNN never said it was verbally presented. In fact, we said — CNN, in their reporting, based on multiple sources said — we don’t know if it was verbally presented. What CNN said was, and I quote, “classified documents presented last week to President Obama and President-elect Trump included allegations that Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump, multiple U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the briefings tell CNN.”
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) January 12, 2017
In a heated interview with Anderson Cooper, Trump senior advisor Kellyanne Conway responds to Russia reports. https://t.co/nm7Zg8weLJ
— CNN (@CNN) January 12, 2017