White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway is rightly being called out for telling yet another stunning lie. But just as outrageously, while Conway was inventing something called the "Bowling Green Massacre," MSNBC host Chris Matthews sat idly by.
White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway lies with such frequency that she has even coined the brand new term "alternative facts" for brazen untruths.
And now she may have outdone herself, and even her liar-in-chief boss, during an appearance on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews when she accused the media of failing to cover a terrorist attack — which does not exist:
CONWAY: These are nations, very narrowly prescribed, and also temporary.
CONWAY: I bet there was very little coverage, I bet it's brand-new information to people that President Obama had a six-month ban on the Iraqi refugee program after two Iraqis came here to this country, were radicalized, and they were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green Massacre. Most people didn't know that because it didn't get covered.
MATTHEWS: Let's talk about the major strategic goal of this administration overseas, and here as well, to eradicate radical Islamic terrorism.
There is, of course, no such thing as a "Bowling Green Massacre," and as even Fox News was able to get right, the plotters in the case Conway was apparently referencing were not even accused of planning an attack on American soil (emphasis mine):
We've been watching this on the wires over the last 20 minutes or so. We can now tell you that two Iraqis in Bowling Green, Kentucky, are now facing some serious terrorism charges. Both men allegedly provided support to al Qaeda in Iraq, and conspiring — and also accused of conspiring to transport missiles overseas. Neither is charged with plotting attacks here in the United States. If they are convicted on those charges, they will face life in prison.
The fact is, there was no "ban" on refugees, but there was a six-month slowdown on processing refugee admissions, one which, if anything, argues against a wider and more indiscriminate use of the process. Although necessary to correct a weakness in the screening process, the delays had tragic consequences:
As a result of the Kentucky case, the State Department stopped processing Iraq refugees for six months in 2011, federal officials told ABC News – even for many who had heroically helped U.S. forces as interpreters and intelligence assets. One Iraqi who had aided American troops was assassinated before his refugee application could be processed, because of the immigration delays, two U.S. officials said. In 2011, fewer than 10,000 Iraqis were resettled as refugees in the U.S., half the number from the year before, State Department statistics show.
During the remainder of their nearly twenty-minute interview, Matthews never returns to the subject to correct Conway — a failure made even more incredible by the fact that this was a taped interview — and neither did anyone else in the three-and-a-half hours of MSNBC news programming that night. In fact, Conway nearly beat MSNBC to the punch in attempting to clean up her lie, incredibly citing an example of the reporting she said did not exist:
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) February 3, 2017
In an era in which the entire White House is shot through with unmitigated liars, our free press must give them no quarter, and we should give no quarter to journalists who fail in such monumental fashion. Trump's team will probably never cease this kind of blatant lying, but we can, and must, become experts at holding them accountable.