On Monday’s MSNBC Live, Katy Tur got into a heated clash with American Conservative Union chairman Matt Schlapp, the latest in a line of Trump-supporting blowhards who can’t seem to quit popping up on cable news, despite all their complaints about the media unfairly targeting the president.
In the overlong, entirely unconstructive 12-minute exchange, Schlapp blew past Tur’s questions on reports of “chaos” in the Trump White House by cycling through many of the president and his supporters’ latest talking points.
On the talk of a Democratic “blue wave” in the House:
Yes, we had a lot of Republicans retire because they kind of panicked about the change in our politics, and yes, the [House] Republicans have some tough sledding in some tough districts that Hillary Clinton won. But by the same token, on the Senate side, which is confirming all these judges, and will confirm hopefully Brett Kavanaugh, and future Supreme Court picks, I believe we’ll actually pick up seats.
On the subject of anonymous White House staffers telling Bob Woodward that Trump is on edge of sinking America into World War III: “Who are these people?” (Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, according to Woodward’s reporting.)
The phrase “outsider president” also made an appearance.
The conversation took a turn into even more exhausting territory, though, when it came to the issue of media reporting on the chaos of the Trump administration and calling out the president’s lies.
“As far as the lying is concerned, every single one of these supposedly independent outfits that are determining whether or not the president is lying or telling the truth, are funded by left-wing donors like George Soros,” Schlapp bloviated, after Tur pointed out several members of Trump’s own party who have spoken about the chaos of his administration.
The conversation went on like that for another six minutes, with Tur challenging Schlapp on the basic truth of Trump’s statements, most recently his false claim about the GDP rate on Twitter, and Schlapp rambling on in response.
“You are making a 'moral determination' when you say a politician lies,” Schlapp said. “There are times when politicians get it right, and politicians get it wrong. On that tweet, I don't know how many years it's been. I know this for Americans it's historic to have the unemployment rate be below the GDP rate. And that's a good thing for all of us. So what you do is, you try to find the one little way in which there's a flaw, and you miss the general point.”
“But that's the point. He could just say something that's true and that would be the end of it. Just say something true! And that would be the end of it,” Tur responds.
Unfortunately, that's not the end of their conversation, though. Tur continues to fact-check Schlapp but doesn't get anywhere on changing his mind. It's a sad, strange and ultimately just dull sight to behold.
Even former conservative cable news talking head darling Joe Walsh caught onto how the wind was blowing and took down Schlapp on Twitter.
If anything, cable news would do well not to boost the profile of these opportunistic attention-seekers by booking them in the first place. We’re well aware that Trump’s most dedicated supporters will follow him no matter what, and it doesn’t help to give them a platform again and again. These people will repeat whatever from Trump’s talking points so long as they get on television, or at least until they catch their next grift.
If you dare, you can watch the segment here.