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Kellyanne Conway Criticizes ‘Presumptively Negative’ Media Coverage of Trump

Variety logo Variety 4/12/2017 Ted Johnson
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WASHINGTON — White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, appearing at a conference at the Newseum museum in D.C. on the relationship between the media and the Trump administration, criticized what she described as “presumptively negative” media coverage of the president’s first 100 days.

In a Q&A with journalist Michael Wolff, Conway said that she did not want to generalize about the media, but said that there were some reporters who “want to prove they have been right all along” about Donald Trump. She even cited cases where journalists were openly questioning whether they should even refer to him as the president.

She said that some journalists had Twitter accounts that were a “hot mess,” with opinion rather than reporting.

“I think we need to have a conversation about the use of Twitter among the media, too,” she said.

Like White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who appeared at the event earlier in the day, she bemoaned the media focus on process rather than policy. She argued that what is getting highlighted is not what is of interest to the voters who made up the Trump coalition.

“The forgotten men and the forgotten women didn’t just come out of nowhere,” she said. “They still feel forgotten in terms of how this administration is being presented.”

Conway, however, was reluctant to single out reporters by name. Wolff cited New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman as someone who Trump doesn’t like. When Conway said that wasn’t true, Wolff said he got that from Trump himself.

She said that “there is a reason that the president decided not attend” this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner, citing the unhappiness with the way that the administration has been covered and that it was a “two way” street of responsibility.

“There is a selectivity there also — what do we choose to highlight and allow to recede into the background,” she said of media coverage.
At a later panel, Brian Stelter of CNN asked ABC News’ Cecilia Vega whether she was “presumptively negative.”
“I am presumptively cynical — that’s my job,” she said.

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