Via the Examiner. Yesterday, before this aired, I encouraged readers to watch “because her CNN interviews almost invariably turn into quarrelsome trainwrecks.” Watch the clip below. How’d that prediction work out?
Conway claims at one point that Dana Bash never would have brought up her husband George’s anti-Trump’s tweets if she were a man. Eh. Conway herself mentioned the fact that James Comey’s family is anti-Trump in her attack on his motives early last week. Trump invited Obama’s half-brother Malik to one of the debates against Hillary in 2016 because he was a strong Trump supporter. When the relative of a prominent politico is publicly at odds with them, curiosity is natural. Usually their families are in sync politically and, to the extent that they’re not, the non-famous ones tend to keep their disagreement quiet so as not to cause this very problem for their more famous relative. When they feel obliged to speak up knowing that it’ll make trouble for their loved one, their feelings must be *really* strong. That’s interesting.
And of course relatives, especially close ones, are assumed to influence each other’s opinions. Except among the media, that is, all of whom are completely intellectually independent from their Democratic blood and marital relations.
Let me float a theory, though, for why Conway’s better half might get special attention for criticizing her boss. One facet is the fact that George Conway was reportedly on Trump’s shortlist at one point to head the DOJ’s Civil Division, a prestige position with enormous influence. He’s not just Kellyanne’s better half, he was a near-hire by POTUS himself. Now he takes potshots at him occasionally on Twitter. That’s noteworthy in its own right.
But beyond that, Kellyanne Conway has always been suspected of being not quite as ardent a Trumper as others in his inner circle. She started the 2016 campaign with a Cruz Super PAC and switched over to Trump’s campaign only a few months out from election day, presumably at the behest of her patrons, the Mercers. Occasionally during the race she would tweet out her own oblique disagreements with things he said on the stump and acknowledged publicly shortly before election day that he was behind. She almost certainly expected him to lose, in which case she’d soon be back doing more traditional Beltway political polling and consulting. If you believe Michael Wolff (and granted, why should you?), she’s been known to point her finger at her head in a gun shape after doing TV interviews in which she had to defend whatever dubious thing Trump just said. All of which is to say, I think to some extent the media regards her as a “punch-clock villain.” They may suspect that George Conway’s tweets are actually a window onto her own thinking.
Thought experiment,: Would they have taken the same interest if, say, Josh Earnest’s wife had been caught occasionally tweeting criticism of Obama? I tend to think … yeah, some reporter would have mentioned that in a briefing at some point, especially if his wife was a prominent person in her own right who’d been considered for a job by Obama. To the extent that George Conway’s tweets are getting extra attention, I’d guess it’s not partisan bias — well, it’s partisan bias a little — but more “narrative bias,” specifically, the narrative that everyone in, around, or anywhere near the Trump White House is disgruntled and apt to make their disgruntlement known, whether publicly or by whispering to reporters. Everyone’s unhappy, or so the media narrative goes. When the would-be comms director’s husband sounds unhappy too, it fits the narrative and therefore became news.