Omarosa can’t reconcile hypocrisy at NABJ convention

Journalists took Omarosa Manigault-Newman to task during a panel on Friday at the 2017 National Association of Black Journalists convention in New Orleans.

Manigault-Newman, director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison and one of the few high-profile black people in the White House, was on a panel that included mothers who lost their sons to police violence.

Manigault-Newman began talking about losing her father and her brother to violence, but things quickly went south when moderator Ed Gordon, host of a news magazine on Bounce TV, started asking the former “Apprentice” star about what she’s doing to advocate on for the black community, specifically in the wake of President Donald Trump’s comments that police should rough up the people they are detaining.

Manigault-Newwamn acknowledged Trump’s comments were wrong, but refused to “disclose her confident conversations with the president.”

“If you want to talk about Donald Trump, have a problem with Donald Trump … I’m not going to stand here and defend every single word and decision,” she told Gordon.

Gordon doubled down, according to the Washington Post, replying “No, I’m asking you about Donald Trump. I’m not going to let you railroad this.”

Nikole Hannah-Jones of The New York Times and Jelani Cobb of The New Yorker were both scheduled to appear on the panel, but refused to participate when they learned Manigault-Newman would be on stage.

In an interview with Page Six, Cobb said his decision to pull out of the panel wasn’t solely based on Manigault-Newman’s participation.

“It was that she was added at the eleventh hour,” Cobb said. “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.’”

Tensions heightened in the audience just as they did on stage.

About a dozen attendees turned their backs on the stage where Manigault-Newman were rhetorically sparring. Some people in the audience walked out of the session.

After nearly an hour of back-and-forth between Gordon and Manigault-Newman, NABJ President Sarah Glover attempted to temper the atmosphere, urging the audience to try to hear contrasting viewpoints. But, by then Manigault-Newman had left the stage with her security detail.

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