Finding Himself in a Hole, Mike Pompeo Demands More Shoveling

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Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonderandhome.com

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  1. Avatar Mike Schilling
    Ignored
    says:

    When did whining become a conservative value?Report

  2. Avatar Aaron David
    Ignored
    says:

    CNN reporting on an NPR story that is unverifieable. That doesn’t stink of BS. No sir, nuh uh.

    Until it is reported by an actual reputable source, it lands in the circular file.Report

    • Avatar Andrew Donaldson
      Ignored
      says:

      CNN does not appear anywhere in this piece.Report

    • Avatar aaron david
      Ignored
      says:

      Edited to add; I first heard about this via cnn, and jumped to conclusion while I should have RTFA. That said, after all the BS we have heard from the media about this admin, I believe Pompeo much more than I believe NPR, sadly.Report

      • Avatar Michael Siegel
        Ignored
        says:

        Listen to the recorded interview. Pompeo doesn’t answer her question, gets testy, then abruptly cuts it off. I can absolutely believe that he subsequently berated the reporter. Especially as his statement does not deny the berating but simply whines that it should have been off the record.

        We’re seeing more and more of this open proud aggression against the media. By November, Greg Gianforte will be running on his record of beating up a reporter.Report

        • Avatar Philip H
          Ignored
          says:

          When you become a fed and take media training they tell you to always assume EVERYTHING is on the record. Given the Secretary’s long career in DC I doubt he escaped that notion. Why he thought it wouldn’t apply to him is beyond me.Report

          • Avatar DavidTC
            Ignored
            says:

            I think it’s less ‘he thought it wouldn’t apply to him’ and more ‘he has stopped operating based on intelligence and has decided to operate based purely on bluster and harassment and insults’, and forgot you can’t actually do that with reporters.

            But, honestly, that’s a hard theory to buy. He’d have to operate for quite some time in an environment where people generally function that way, where no one cares truth or logic or anything, and instead operate by ranting and raving.

            And…where would he have gotten used to thinking that was how things worked?

            Maybe he’s in an _incredibly_ dysfunctional bowling league.Report

      • Avatar Andrew Donaldson
        Ignored
        says:

        Fair enough. Your belief in Pompeo is impressiveReport

        • Avatar Aaron David
          Ignored
          says:

          No, my sadness in the depths of NPRs bad practices is leagion.Report

          • Avatar Kazzy
            Ignored
            says:

            Can you name, let’s say, three bad practices by NPR?Report

            • Avatar JoeSal
              Ignored
              says:

              Ya notice how Andrew nearly always writes mud pieces on republicans but not dems? It’s kinda that same flavor.

              How many of these are we up to over the last six months anyhow?Report

            • Avatar Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              “Surely this sort of thing is googleable”, I thought. Is there a Wikipedia page dedicated to this sort of thing? Well, of course there is. Would FAIR have a page dedicated to NPR? As it turns out, they do. Heck, Vanity Fair even has a long-form article about NPR.

              But I’m not sure that those count. “Those are all criticisms from the left!”, comes one counter-argument that I see coming. (As if it would be totally cool if I posted articles from National Review or Fox News.)

              So then I asked “Has Kazzy complained about NPR?”

              Well, there was that one time when he complained about when articles are written in which they base a HUGE THING on one dude’s opinion.

              And that reminds me: I owe you five bucks.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                From your Wiki:
                “Consumers of information from NPR contend that NPR does its job well. A study conducted in 2003 by the polling firm Knowledge Networks and the University of Maryland’s Program on International Policy Attitudes (University of Maryland at College Park) showed that those who get their news and information from public broadcasting (NPR and PBS – Public Broadcasting Service) are better informed than those whose information comes from other media outlets. ”

                Maybe this is a semantic issue, but when I hear/use “bad practice”, I’m talking about, well, malpractice. Not ideological bias (unavoidable), not a bad article. I’m talking about engaging in a consistent practice in violation of established norms, expectations, ethics, etc.

                If NPR had a history of reporting on off-the-record convos, I’d be much inclined to believe they did it again.

                I’m wondering if AD can name any of the deeply bad practices NPR engages in.

                NPR ain’t perfect and no one is alleging they are (even me, who you link! WAHOO!). But if you are going to call them “bad practicing”, I’m going to ask you for cites. AD has yet to provide that.Report

              • Avatar Andrew Donaldson
                Ignored
                says:

                The Mike Oreskes scandal comes to mind but that was of a different sort than just political bias.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David
                Ignored
                says:

                Sorry to not get back to you, I have had my son visiting from across the country.

                But, it is a combination of bad practices and the damage to the news industry in general. As for those bad practices, you can start with Terri Gross and the water carrying she has done for various politicans. Kai Ryssdal is in the same boat (I remember an interview he did with Donald Rumsfeld, and it was simply a partisan hit piece. If you want to call yourselves journalists, you cannot have crap like that) They also have a practice of bracketing. This is most evident on their show The Takeaway. They will have two people on to present the sides of that weeks events, David Brooks and EJ Dionne last I listened. This creates the impression that these are the two bounds of reasoned debate on the given topics, with NPR situated between. That leaves out a myriad set of views from both the left and right on any given topic, and gives the impression that anything outside those two views is abnormal.

                But overall, NPR is the voice of, not America, but of the upper-middle class. And any news or opionion to that might hurt that group must not be presented possitively, whether from the left or right.

                And one further thought; do to the extreme hate of this administration, which has been practiced by journalists of all stripes reporting unvarifiable… well, crap to be honest, I do not trust any reporting about this admin unless is is verified by multiple sources. This runs the gamut from FOX to NPR. So I am not specifically singling out NPR but the current state of journalism. It doesn’t say anything about the Trump admin, to which I am ambivelant about.

                So, idiological bias, previous sketchy (in my eyes) pracices combined with raw hatred in the profession at large. No, I don’t trust them.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                So, based on all that, you trust Pompeo’s claims that everything that transpired was agreed to be off-the-record? What about what others have offered here about why that is unlikely or impossible?

                Distrusting a source when balancing competing stories is reasonable. But Pompeo’s side just doesn’t hold water.

                If Trump said the sky was green and NPR fact checked to say it was blue, would you side with Trump?

                Seems your own ideological blinders are on, fit for carrying water.

                I was undecided on what seemed likely as I am anytime a they said/they said emerges. But folks here gave reasoned, detailed argument why one VERSION of events — independent of who offered it — was the far more likelier one to be correct. Do you dismiss all that?

                See DavidTC just below for the strongest argument.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David
                Ignored
                says:

                If Trump said the sky was green and NPR fact checked to say it was blue, would you side with Trump?

                . If Trump said the sky was green, I wouldn’t need any news service as I can check with my own senses. And it isn’t that I think Pompeo is especially trustworthy, simply that the media at this time has fucked up so much that I do not trust them with any unverifiable information. Not NPR, not FOX, not the WSJ, not the NYT.

                Again, I am Trump ambivalent. Which does put me on the spot at this blog, which is fine. But I am going to say what I think is bullshit, which is what the entire media apperatus has been pushing. So, without multiple sources of confirmation it is simply a fantasy. No better than the Piss Hookers and Russian double agents of the the last three years. And people here at OT have presented “reasoned, detailed” arguments of how both of those were likely. Absent multiple sources, these are just as like to be made up.

                “Seems your own ideological blinders are on, fit for carrying water.”

                Pot, Kettle, Black.Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw
          Ignored
          says:

          It owns the libs Andrew. It owns the libs.Report

      • Avatar DavidTC
        Ignored
        says:

        So, Pompeo has not denied what she’s alleged. You understand he hasn’t denied he pitched a hissy right?

        Pompeo assertion is instead that, for some utterly inexplicably reason, he was promised a ‘post-interview’ conversation off-the-record, which…not something that generally happens. And thus, he claims, the conversation happened with him screaming and swearing and trying to try to prove Kelly was stupid was off-the-record. Not that it didn’t happen, but that it was off-the-record.

        The ‘lie’ he’s asserting is not about his behavior at all. He appears to agree he literally did everything she said. His complaint is solely that she told people. Oh…and he claims she got the answer to the quiz wrong.

        Now, let’s leave aside for a second whether being off-the-record even covers berating and cursing at the interviewer and making them take a quiz. Although that is a valid question. Being off-the-record means the _conversation_ can’t be repeated, not…crazy thing you do during said conversation.You don’t magically get immunity for all actions because you’re ‘off-the-record’. You can’t, like, throw a chair through a window and then assert a reporter can’t report that because you were off-the-record a the time.

        Likewise, if a reporter that someone swore, or pulled out a map and made her play a quiz, is not ‘repeating the conversation’. Off-the-record applies to the actual conversation, not insanity during that conversation.

        But let’s ignore that question, and instead I’ll point out pretty good evidence Pompeo’s lying: Talking to someone off-the-record, and then repeating that, is a fireable offense in journalism.

        The problem is, and the reason we know this isn’t true, she wouldn’t be the only one who helped set up the interview, and thus other people, thus her assistants, and Pompeo’s assistants, would know she’d agreed to hypothetical off-the-record conversation, and there’d be actual documentation. Interviewing the Secretary of State is kind of a big thing, with a lot of back-and-forth. This isn’t some hastily set up interview she threw together. There’d be documentation of this agreement.

        Of course, there isn’t documentation, because it was a damn formal interview with the Secretary of State, and that would be utterly insane to do any part of that off-the-record. Why would there even be a post-interview conversation even planned, much less designated off-the-record?Report

        • Avatar DavidTC
          Ignored
          says:

          In fact, let’s remind people:

          After Pompeo abruptly ended the interview, an aide called Kelly back to Pompeo’s private living room where the correspondent said he “shouted” and “used the F word,” asking whether she thought Americans care about Ukraine, and predicting that “people will hear about this.”

          Calling her back to a private living room means it wasn’t part of the scheduled interview at all, and thus the only way it could be off-the-record is she if she agreed to it right there.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy
          Ignored
          says:

          My toddlers would like to after-the-fact request all their tantrums be off the record.Report

  3. Avatar Michael Siegel
    Ignored
    says:

    Also, as we discussed on Twitter, I’m kind of amazed that Pompeo has a blank map at his beck and call. Is this to give pop quizzes to State employees?Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain
      Ignored
      says:

      If you were SoS for the United States, what staff and equipment would go with you any time you were on official business? If I were, someone would be carrying a Halliburton case with something equivalent to a laptop, a 4G dongle, a portable printer, and half a ream of paper. And that someone would be way more competent than it takes to do the 30-second Google search to find and print this.Report

  4. Avatar Stillwater
    Ignored
    says:

    But it’s more probable that whichever underling wrote the response mixed up Ukraine’s northern neighbor Belarus with Bangladesh

    The most amazing part of Pompeo’s lie is that he exposed himself, and his staff, as the lying liars they are. There’s effectively a zero percent chance Kelly doesn’t know where Ukraine is, but on the very slight chance she pointed to the wrong country, or was viewed by Pompeo as doing so, she didn’t get it wrong by *an entire continent*. Pompeo is neck-deep in this Ukraine scandal and cracked under the slightest pressure from Kelly. Personally, I thought she went easy on him re: the admin’s no Iranian nukes “policy”*, but he bristled like a cornered cat at that as well.

    *Scare-quotes because, as her questioning established, there is no policy, just sloganeering.Report

  5. Avatar Philip H
    Ignored
    says:

    The Secretary had the interview pre-cleared by his own Comms and PA team, which would have included those questions he refused to answer. Unless he’s just stupid, which I keep being told he’s not. Once reporters get their cleared questions back they ask them. Its how we feds are trained to deal with the media. If he chooses to be angry it sure can’t be at her.Report

  6. Avatar DavidTC
    Ignored
    says:

    Something I’ve not heard anyone mention: The idea that Kelly would agree to go ‘off the record’ and then _lie_ about it utterly insane.

    Granting that and then renegging on it is a firing offense at NPR, and so is lying about it. And there’s no only no conceivable reason for her to do that. I don’t just mean there’s no reason to reneg in it, I mean there’s literally no reason for her to agree to go off-the-record _after_ an interview at all.

    Like, what even is the claim there? That _after_ he quit the interview, he decided to negotiating being off-the-record so he could throw a tantrum? Or the claim that he had magical off-the-record powers the entire time the tape recorder was off…because that’s not how that works at all.

    You are _always_ on the record when talking to a reporter, especially literally during an interview you agreed to, unless they say otherwise.Report

  7. Avatar Mike Schilling
    Ignored
    says:

    Just in cade there was any doubt about what a piece of shit he is, Pompeo has now kicked a completely different NPR reporter out of the poo for his current trip to Europe and Central Asia.

    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/jan/27/michele-kelemen-npr-reporter-barred-flying-mike-po/Report

  1. January 27, 2020

    […] case you missed it over the weekend, the Secretary of State found himself in a spat with NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly who alleged […]Report

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