How Kellyanne Conway stymies reporters

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So now how about a companion piece on how journalists and interviewers are trained and practice to get the best from their victims er guests. How to set up for the “gotcha”.

The mental gymnastics seem to be taking a toll, however…Kellyanne looks like she has aged six years, in the last six months.


…how they “call you on your bullshit.”


Can we get that on pay-per-view? Cuz I would totally pay to see that.

I want a reporter to ask him: “Now that you’re president, why do you keep bringing up the election results when it just makes you look pathetic?”


I hadn’t heard “Baghdad Bob”. I remember him as “Comical Ali”.



Can we please refrain from shaming a woman for her admittedly fucked up and camera-unfriendly appearance? It’s one thing to say Humphrey Bogart looked like an old catcher’s mitt; it was part of his persona and charm as an actor. But Conway looking like five hundred miles of chain-smoking bad road has zero bearing on the validity (or lack thereof) of the words spilling out of her facehole. It’s sexist and distracts from the real issues.

On the other hand, make fun of Bannon and Miller’s looks all you want. Those guys give me the heebie-jeebies.

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Ooh, meta-shaming!

Me, I’m done with her.

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Three Hours Later:


What @waetherman basically said.

You don’t have to be particularly smart to do what Conway does: you just have to be trained to not answer a question you don’t like or can’t/won’t respond to. And have the temerity to keep going, essentially ignoring what the journalist says/asks, to get your preferred message across.

A good way to achieve the non-answer is to say something like: “I can’t answer that. What I can say is…” and then hope the journalist focuses on the answer, rather than what you didn’t say/respond to. Or you can just. Keep. Talking. Whatever nonsense falls out of your mouth, keep going. Pause as little as possible. Or, as a last resort, end the interview. Conway seems to be especially good at the ‘just keep talking with whatever nonsense’ thing.

Of course, in an ideal situation (for the interviewer), you don’t get distracted or misled. You keep hammering away. Ask the same question 20 times, 50 times if you have to. But that’s where you’re willing to risk pissing off the subject, even to the extent that they refuse to speak to you and/or the organisation again (possibly indefinitely) or, as said earlier, end the interview. But that opens up a whole other line of possible questions - why so sensitive, what is being avoided, etc, etc.

Disclaimer: (Australian) journalist/media professional for 26 years. With media training when I was in a corporate role.


Can you post one example of a “gotcha”, where a guest was ‘tricked’ into admitting something that wasn’t true?

I used similar techniques with media interviews when I was a scientist. Think in advance about what information you want to get across, and steer the interview so as to achieve that.

But the intention was to inform rather than obscure, and you don’t have to be dishonest about it.

“Well, that’s not really the right question to ask. The important thing is that…”


Simply baffle them with bullshit. She’s quite experienced at it.

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Oh yeah, for sure honesty is the best policy. But it seems like Conway et al have no understanding of what honesty even is. Post-truth, alternative facts and all that.

I know of at least one instance wherein somebody I knew personally was tricked into “saying” something that was never intended simply by interviewing him for over an hour on one small thing until he finally lost his patience and snapped at the reporter with the words they were looking for. That was then edited into a short clip as the “answer” to a question he was never asked.

So Brenden Dassey in Making a Murderer?

That was then edited into a short clip as the “answer” to a question he was never asked.

To be honest, you could do this with almost anything

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