The news cycle surrounding ousted White House staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman is emblematic of everything that is wrong with the news media’s coverage of the Trump administration.
The famed reality TV villain, who is peddling a book about her stint at the Trump White House, has been getting airtime on some of the biggest news shows — including an exclusive sit-down with Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet The Press” on Sunday morning in which she made wild claims about her former employer and played audio she says she secretly recorded inside the White House Situation Room.
It’s clear to absolutely everyone that Omarosa has no substantive analysis of her tenure at the White House beyond what she’s already shared on “Celebrity Big Brother” earlier this year where she tried to portray herself as a victim. Up till the moment she was reportedly dragged from the White House following her firing, she was all about President Trump and played his surrogate on TV all throughout the 2016 election. But the second the president couldn’t make her famous anymore, she went on the attack.
Here’s a montage of her whining about how America is doomed at the hands of Trump mashed up with footage of her gleefully declaring a year earlier that everyone who criticized Trump was going to have to eat crow.
She was all about Trump when he made her famous. Now that she’s on the outs with him, she’s adopted a critical tone in order to win favor with the mainstream media who cannot resist booking people who will say critical things about Trump — especially from a former surrogate. She’s playing members of the media and they are letting her do it to them, because tapes!
Which brings us to her appearance on “Meet The Press,” which she was reportedly able to book because she leveraged a tape of audio she clandestinely recorded at the White House.
this is a bonkers thing to let sink in — Omarosa secretly recorded the Chief of Staff *inside* the Situation Room.
— j.d. durkin (@jd_durkin) August 12, 2018
All throughout the interview — which Chuck Todd should not have agreed to because it’s clear her motives are dubious at best — Omarosa makes a number of wild claims. She played a tiny snippet of audio reportedly capturing John Kelly’s voice from inside the White House Situation Room during the meeting when she was fired. The only time Todd pushes back is when she claims that Kelly firing her without involving Trump is somehow illegal.
On Monday, NBC released another bit of audio Omarosa reportedly recorded during a conversation with Trump immediately following her departure in which Trump says he didn’t know about it and is sad to see her go.
#Breaking: @OMAROSA provides @NBCNews with this exclusive excerpt of a recording of a phone call that she says she received from President Trump the day after White House Chief of Staff John Kelly fired her. pic.twitter.com/OJe47RdcDC
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) August 13, 2018
Immediately after the recording, an NBC News reporter says the network does not know what was said before or after the brief exchange — which means that the network did not check to see how heavily edited the audio was before running it on the air. Accepting a tiny snippet of audio from a fired White House staffer with an axe to grind and a pile of books to sell without even attempting to verify how accurate her version of events is makes it clear that when it comes to this president, all the rules of journalism get thrown out the window.
It would be one thing if Omarosa’s audio broke a news story about corruption or some other abuse of power in the White House, but the only audio she has released has come from her firing — she apparently only recorded people when she knew she was on her way out.
If Omarosa truly thought that America is in danger and had audio of urgent news that was critical to America’s national security, why didn’t she release it immediately? Why did she wait eight months? It’s clearly not that important and she herself has said she recorded these men has an insurance policy, which should spur a healthy skepticism from those fanning the flames on her narrative.
Objectivity in the media in a post-Trump America is a paper-thin veneer members of the press hide behind as a mere formality. Adding a quick disclaimer that they did not bother to verify wild claims made by a highly unreliable source before playing audio she gave them in full on live TV does not make it a fair and accurate depiction of what’s going on. Many members of the media should stop letting their hatred for Trump blind them. It’s clear to everyone who’s not playing pretend that Omarosa’s last gasp for attention does not deserve the air time it has received.