TV anchor Connie Chung joined MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki on Friday afternoon to discuss the results of the 2016 Election and what the media may have missed in the process.
“It is the burning question for all of us in the media,” Chung said. “What happened early on for instance during the Republican primaries, is the media really unwittingly became promoters of Donald Trump.”
She explained that this was “because the outrageous, inflammatory things he was saying were not taken seriously by the media, but he was on the television by every single outlet, including print media, and unwittingly the media became part of the process.”
Chung discussed the ways in which the media described his campaign positively, whether intentional or not, by using words like “momentum,” “increasing,” “big crowds.” Chung said, “These kinds of words connote positive impressions of his campaign.”
“So, we were complicit,” she said. “And I don’t necessarily think that we meant to be, but we were.” Chung commented on how the media was too late to taking Trump seriously.
“When we finally realized that he was a serious candidate — he was not only the nominee, but he was being taken seriously by the electorate — we started piling on and investigating him, never having done that in the beginning,” she said.
Kornacki mentioned how last time Chung joined him, the two discussed the possibility that the country might soon see its first woman president. He asked whether there was any single thing in particular that Chung believed played a factor in her defeat, above others.
“She was the wrong woman,” Chung said. “She was the wrong woman eight years ago and she was the wrong woman this time too. People just obviously didn’t trust her. That’s the thing that we all know so clearly.”
She continued, laughing, “There was only one woman who won this election and that was Kellyanne Conway. She manipulated her boss so perfectly.”
Poking fun at Conway, Chung said, “You could even hear him say it. She would say, ‘stay on the issues’ and he said one time when he was speaking, he said, ‘Donald, stick with the issues, stick with the message.’ It was as if she echoed in his ears. She should be Secretary of State. She could get ISIS to lay down their arms.”
“She’s the best handler that anyone has seen in decades,” Chung said of Conway.
Listen to Chung’s full reflections on the 2016 Election below.