Mary Louise Kelly, the reporter for National Public Radio who Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is currently having a temper tantrum over, wrote a column for The New York Times that explains how she’s bothered by something more than our nation’s top diplomat calling her a liar.
Kelly wrote, “Journalists don’t sit down with senior government officials in the service of scoring political points. We do it in the service of asking tough questions, on behalf of our fellow citizens. And then sharing the answers — or lack thereof — with the world.”
It was the lack thereof she got from our Secretary of State.
When asked how we would prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, Pompeo’s answer was, “We’ll stop them.” In case you’re a Republican, that’s not an answer to her question. But what really ticked Pompeo off were her questions regarding Ukraine and the State Department’s treatment of our former ambassador to that nation, Marie Yovanovitch.
In case you’re just tuning in (you know, if you’re a Republican), Donald Trump sent his goon, Rudy Giuliani, who engaged his own goons into a campaign to discredit and destroy Yovanovitch. We’ve learned since that the goons may have even stalked Yovanovitch and put her life in danger. Pompeo, the man responsible for the safety of our ambassadors, did nothing.
For over a year, Trump’s goons went after Yovanovitch. When asked if he owed her an apology, Pompeo replied to Kelly that he’s defended all our ambassadors. Again, not answering her question. And that’s ultimately what pissed Pompeo, who is now officially a Trump goon, off.
Pompeo told Kelly that “nobody in America cares about Ukraine” and then challenged her to find that nation on an unmarked map. She did. He screamed and cursed at her, which she reported. While not denying her account, he went public with a snowflake tirade that she lied to him, twice, and that their exchange was to be off the record and she promised to only ask questions about Iran. Kelly released emails she exchanged with Pompeo’s staff which don’t just back her up but prove Pompeo is a liar.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that Pompeo is a liar because he works for Donald Trump. It also shouldn’t be a surprise that he’s bullying women (a journalist and an ambassador) and demonstrating just how thin-skinned he is by banning NPR from his plane on an upcoming trip to Ukraine. And it also shouldn’t be a surprise that Donald Trump praised Pompeo for the “job” he did on her.
Donald Trump, who was caught on a recording to “take her out” in regards to Yovanovitch and who told the president of Ukraine that “things were going to happen to her,” compliment Pompeo for his riff with the NPR reporter.
During a photo-op with another corrupt leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump said to Pompeo, “That’s impressive. That was very impressive. That reporter couldn’t have done too good a job on you yesterday. I think you did a good job on her, actually.” Naturally, Trump is ignoring the fact Pompeo was caught lying and was internationally embarrassed. But you know how it is with Trump’s minions. They’re only performing for an audience of one. All that matters to them is that a mean girl asked mean questions. Does anyone need a hug?
Freedom of the press is guaranteed in our Constitution. It’s so important, it comes before that right to own guns thing. Our president and secretary of state should be championing all of our freedoms, not just the selective ones that appeal to their racist fucknut base. As it turns out, Kelly has more trouble with our top diplomat than she did with Iran’s who she also interviewed just a few days before.
Instead of championing that freedom, our State Department is telling the world they’ll shut up journalists who challenge them. We’ll shut them up by banning them from coverage. We’ll shut them up by defunding NPR. Nations like Turkey, who imprisons journalists, and Saudi Arabia, who murders journalists, is paying attention.
Cruelty and being vile to people is what Trump and his supporters consider humorous in this era. The entire room, except for the press who were present, laughed at Trump’s comments and praise for Pompeo’s bullying. I don’t see the humor in it. Where was the punchline?
Everyone in that room, including Trump and Pompeo should read Kelly’s column today. They should especially take note of this passage: “There is a reason that freedom of the press is enshrined in the Constitution. There is a reason it matters that people in positions of power — people charged with steering the foreign policy of entire nations — be held to account. The stakes are too high for their impulses and decisions not to be examined in as thoughtful and rigorous an interview as is possible.”
They should read it twice. Three times if they have to. Trump and Pompeo could read it a hundred times and still not understand that they are to be held accountable.
Donald Trump’s He-Man Women Hater Club may not like it, but girls are allowed to ask them questions.
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