With the Mike Pompeo/NPR kerfuffle, the media again makes itself the story

As of this writing, a Bing search for the phrase “Pompeo NPR Interview” returned 15,900 results just for the past week. The fact that an NPR reporter says Pompeo called her a liar and used the “F” word garnered stories at NPR, the New York Times, ABC News, CNN, Yahoo News, Reuters, Axios, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, CNBC, the Washington Times, USA Today, and many other major outlets. They all are treating it like a big story. It isn’t.

Here are the known facts: Mary Louise Kelly interviewed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for NPR’s All Things Considered. Kelly began by asking Pompeo questions about Iran which he willingly answered. Listening to the interview, Kelly clearly supports Obama’s Iran Plan and trusts Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, more than she trusts the Trump administration. Pompeo pushes back against her assumptions. It is a contentious interview.

Things really go off the rails, , though, when Kelly abruptly abandons Iran and asks a question about Ukraine that is both biased and inane – just as the House impeachment managers are on television bloviating about Trump’s Ukraine telephone call proving he’s a dictator and claiming an urgent need to prevent Americans from voting for Trump a second time. Pompeo instantly castigates her for violating her commitment to limit the interview to Iran:

Change of subject. Ukraine. Do you owe Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch an apology?

You know, I agreed to come on your show today to talk about Iran. That's what I intend to do. I know what our Ukraine policy has been now for the three years of this administration. I'm proud of the work we've done. This administration delivered the capability for the Ukrainians to defend themselves. President Obama showed up with MREs (meals ready to eat.) We showed up with Javelin missiles. The previous administration did nothing to take down corruption in Ukraine. We're working hard on that. We're going to continue to do it.

Rather than stopping, Kelly accuses Pompeo of ignoring his staff’s opinions by failing to support an ambassador, as if a backstabbing betrayer has the same standing as an ambassador who stands up for the administration she serves. Pompeo pushed back and the interview ended.

Rather than letting the interview speak for itself, Kelly announced that Pompeo was mean to her:

I was taken to the secretary's private living room where he was waiting and where he shouted at me for about the same amount of time as the interview itself had lasted. He was not happy to have been questioned about Ukraine. He asked, do you think Americans care about Ukraine? He used the F-word in that sentence and many others. He asked if I could find Ukraine on a map; I said yes. He called out for his aides to bring him a map of the world with no writing, no countries marked. I pointed to Ukraine. He put the map away. He said, people will hear about this. And then he turned and said he had things to do, and I thanked him again for his time and left.

Pompeo had his own take on what happened:

NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly lied to me, twice. First, last month, in setting up our interview and, then again yesterday, in agreeing to have our post-interview conversation off the record. It is shameful that this reporter chose to violate the basic rules of journalism and decency. This is another example of how unhinged the media has become in its quest to hurt President Trump and this Administration. It is no wonder that the American people distrust many in the media when they so consistently demonstrate their agenda and their absence of integrity. 

It is worth noting that Bangladesh is NOT Ukraine. 

If you’re wondering who’s telling the truth, it’s worth remembering that (a) it’s clear that Kelly blindsided Pompeo, making it probable she lied when setting up the interview; (b) Pompeo is a famously straight shooter; and (c) that NPR reporters despise President Trump and are the fake news. Still, you decide.

More importantly, ask yourself why this is a story at all. If you go to the Twitter feeds for the President, Mike Pompeo and the State Department, you’ll discover that things are happening out there that matter to Americans, rather than to self-involved, navel-gazing, Trump-hating, Deplorable-despising media hacks:

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which provides funds to PBS and NPR, has received almost half a billion dollars from taxpayers in 2018 and 2019, and will again in 2020. Kelly’s “reporting” reveals that, while all taxpayers are on the hook for this money, the Democrat party is the real beneficiary.

As of this writing, a Bing search for the phrase “Pompeo NPR Interview” returned 15,900 results just for the past week. The fact that an NPR reporter says Pompeo called her a liar and used the “F” word garnered stories at NPR, the New York Times, ABC News, CNN, Yahoo News, Reuters, Axios, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, CNBC, the Washington Times, USA Today, and many other major outlets. They all are treating it like a big story. It isn’t.

Here are the known facts: Mary Louise Kelly interviewed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for NPR’s All Things Considered. Kelly began by asking Pompeo questions about Iran which he willingly answered. Listening to the interview, Kelly clearly supports Obama’s Iran Plan and trusts Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, more than she trusts the Trump administration. Pompeo pushes back against her assumptions. It is a contentious interview.

Things really go off the rails, , though, when Kelly abruptly abandons Iran and asks a question about Ukraine that is both biased and inane – just as the House impeachment managers are on television bloviating about Trump’s Ukraine telephone call proving he’s a dictator and claiming an urgent need to prevent Americans from voting for Trump a second time. Pompeo instantly castigates her for violating her commitment to limit the interview to Iran:

Change of subject. Ukraine. Do you owe Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch an apology?

You know, I agreed to come on your show today to talk about Iran. That's what I intend to do. I know what our Ukraine policy has been now for the three years of this administration. I'm proud of the work we've done. This administration delivered the capability for the Ukrainians to defend themselves. President Obama showed up with MREs (meals ready to eat.) We showed up with Javelin missiles. The previous administration did nothing to take down corruption in Ukraine. We're working hard on that. We're going to continue to do it.

Rather than stopping, Kelly accuses Pompeo of ignoring his staff’s opinions by failing to support an ambassador, as if a backstabbing betrayer has the same standing as an ambassador who stands up for the administration she serves. Pompeo pushed back and the interview ended.

Rather than letting the interview speak for itself, Kelly announced that Pompeo was mean to her:

I was taken to the secretary's private living room where he was waiting and where he shouted at me for about the same amount of time as the interview itself had lasted. He was not happy to have been questioned about Ukraine. He asked, do you think Americans care about Ukraine? He used the F-word in that sentence and many others. He asked if I could find Ukraine on a map; I said yes. He called out for his aides to bring him a map of the world with no writing, no countries marked. I pointed to Ukraine. He put the map away. He said, people will hear about this. And then he turned and said he had things to do, and I thanked him again for his time and left.

Pompeo had his own take on what happened:

NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly lied to me, twice. First, last month, in setting up our interview and, then again yesterday, in agreeing to have our post-interview conversation off the record. It is shameful that this reporter chose to violate the basic rules of journalism and decency. This is another example of how unhinged the media has become in its quest to hurt President Trump and this Administration. It is no wonder that the American people distrust many in the media when they so consistently demonstrate their agenda and their absence of integrity. 

It is worth noting that Bangladesh is NOT Ukraine. 

If you’re wondering who’s telling the truth, it’s worth remembering that (a) it’s clear that Kelly blindsided Pompeo, making it probable she lied when setting up the interview; (b) Pompeo is a famously straight shooter; and (c) that NPR reporters despise President Trump and are the fake news. Still, you decide.

More importantly, ask yourself why this is a story at all. If you go to the Twitter feeds for the President, Mike Pompeo and the State Department, you’ll discover that things are happening out there that matter to Americans, rather than to self-involved, navel-gazing, Trump-hating, Deplorable-despising media hacks:

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which provides funds to PBS and NPR, has received almost half a billion dollars from taxpayers in 2018 and 2019, and will again in 2020. Kelly’s “reporting” reveals that, while all taxpayers are on the hook for this money, the Democrat party is the real beneficiary.