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Standing up For Mary Louise Kelly

January 25, 2020

We all know about the shameful language from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Over the past hours, many an analysis has been offered about the truly unsettling behavior from Pompeo.  The Atlantic has a great perspective.   

Mary Louise Kelly undoubtedly has dozens of techniques for making a sophisticated interviewee reveal more than he wishes, just as Pompeo has dozens of techniques for parrying her questions. On the air, he resorted to the worst of these techniques, which is simply to flee the interviewer. But his subsequent assumption that she would consent to being browbeaten in private, that he could just stop the interview like a child calling a time-out in a game of street hockey, was both foolish and arrogant. Even kids know that you can call a time-out to let a car pass, but not to stop your opponent from scoring a goal—let alone to stop him from scoring a goal and then give him a noogie.

Pompeo says Kelly’s conduct shows why Americans “distrust many in the media.” One can see why Pompeo might distrust the media: We want him to reveal more than he wants to reveal. (And we seek these revelations routinely, from sophisticated sources of all parties.) But he was the one who scrambled for cover when asked a question, and whose scrambling was revealed, with total transparency, on the air.

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