Omarosa’s appearance on a panel at the 2017 National Association of Black Journalists went pretty much as expected – badly. Her scheduled appearance on a police brutality panel was met with scorn my other journalists and even the moderator, veteran journalist Ed Gordon, wasn’t too happy with her presence.
A panel at the 2017 National Association of Black Journalists conference in New Orleans featuring White House aide Omarosa Manigault quickly went south after Manigault refused to answer questions about the administration in which she serves.
The panel made news before it even started, according to Page Six, which reported that Nikole Hannah-Jones of The New York Times and Jelani Cobb of The New Yorker refused to take part in the panel after they were informed they would be on stage with Manigault.
“Cobb told Page Six that the reason for pulling out ‘wasn’t simply the addition of Omarosa. It was that she was added at the eleventh hour and it was unclear whether we would be able to discuss substantive issues regarding the administration and its policing policies. Also, the panel was very disorganized, and basic things like format were not clear.'”
Moderator and broadcast journalist Ed Gordon stepped in at the last minute, but he sparred with Manigault almost as soon as she stepped on stage.
“Shame on you,” Manigault told Gordon just minutes after coming on stage. At one point, Gordon and Manigault both stood and paced the stage, talking each other down face to face. “Let me tell my story,” Manigault told Gordon. “Ask me a question about me.”
When asked about President Trump’s recent comments that police should rough up people they are detaining, Manigault said his comments were wrong. She said issues of police brutality are important to the Trump White House. But said she could not elaborate on private conversations with the president.
All the details of that insane panel: Omarosa’s Appearance at Black Journalists Convention Sparks Uproar https://t.co/r4OGXZhTQr
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) August 12, 2017
“You don’t walk away from the table,” Manigault responded when asked why she had taken a job in an administration seen by many in the room as hostile to African-Americans. “Because if you’re not on the table, you’re on the menu,” she said. When asked about her work with the Department of Justice on policing issues, Manigault responded, “Google me.”
The crowd became increasingly angered with Manigault’s seeming refusal to answer questions about the Trump administration. She said she was there to talk about her personal experience with violence, as some of her family members have been killed. Several conference attendees in the audience stood with their backs turned to Manigault, while others just walked out.
— maya king (@mayaaliah) August 11, 2017
Omarosa Manigualt has a way of pissing people off when all they have to do is just hear her name.
So you only imagine what the reaction was when journalists meeting in New Orleans learned she is supposed to be in their midst on a panel.
Well, put it this way. The situation is being described as “heavy drama” at the NABJ/National Association of Black Journalists conference in New Orleans after organizers decided to add the very unpopular Trump aide to a panel.
“The majority there don’t want her involved. It’s heavy drama — even the moderator is refusing. Everyone sees it as extremely offensive,” a source told informed Page Six.
New York Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones was scheduled to moderate a panel on police brutality on Friday, which featured Valerie Castile, Sandra Sterling, and the New Yorker’s Jelani Cobb. Hannah-Jones and Cobb pulled out of the panel, and Bounce TV’s Ed Gordon stepped in to serve as the event’s moderator.
Cobb told Page Six that the reason for pulling out “wasn’t simply the addition of Omarosa. It was that she was added at the eleventh hour and it was unclear whether we would be able to discuss substantive issues regarding the administration and its policing policies. Also, the panel was very disorganized, and basic things like format were not clear.”
There’s also the fact that journalist April Ryan (CNN commentator and American Urban Radio Networks bureau chief) has distanced herself from Manigault since she became an aide to President Donald Trump. As we reported, Ryan said on Angela Rye’s podcast that Manigault — who works in the public liaison office — had tried to sabotage her career.
“She was going around telling Sean Spicer not to call on me [during press conferences]. She’s calling other people, newsmakers, sources . . . trolling my Twitter . . . She wanted to kill my career.”
“When you try to kill me and my career because you want to advance yourself, because you are now making money after not making money from selling cellphones, and now you’re making $180,000 a year, good for you. But you know what? Karma comes back. And I told her, ‘The sad thing about it is: No one likes you.’ ”
So far there’s been no response/comment from Manigualt or the NABJ.
(Photo Credit: Guillermo Proano / PR Photos)
Sign Up For Our Newsletter!