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Kristi Noem Attacks ‘Fake News’ for Questioning Fake Jong-un Kim Story

Kristi Noem’s political career is imploding because she’s too proud for her own good.

Well, more specifically, it’s imploding because the South Dakota governor included a story about shooting her dog in her new book, No Going Back. As Politico reports, multiple people told her two years ago to cut the anecdote from a previous memoir, Not My First Rodeo:

Then, as now, Noem wanted the story in because it showed a decisive person who was unwilling to be bound by namby-pamby niceties, while others on the team — which included agents, editors and publicists at Hachette Book Group’s prestige Twelve imprint, and a ghostwriter — saw it as a bad-taste anecdote that would hurt her brand. The tale was ultimately cut, according to two people involved with the project.

Noem is also in trouble because it appears she lied about some other things in No Going Back, which comes out on Tuesday. Over the weekend, the book’s publisher said Noem’s untrue claims about meeting Kim Jong-un would be removed from future editions:

But more broadly, it seems these stories are in No Going Back because Noem wanted the book to convey to Donald Trump and his supporters that she’s not like the other politicians on his VP shortlist: She’s tough, she’s folksy, and she isn’t afraid to do what needs to be done, whether that means standing up to a foreign dictator or shooting a puppy.

So it isn’t surprising that Noem is trying to defend herself by using a classic political tactic: saying she’s the victim of the “Fake News.” But it is pretty funny, since the “news” in question is just stuff she said in her own book.

Noem’s reasons for blaming the media for her book debacle keep evolving. After The Guardian reported on April 26 that Noem’s book included an anecdote about fatally shooting her dog Cricket, the governor initially tried to spin the outrage as a positive, suggesting media pansies don’t understand how much dog-killing happens on the farm. “If you want more real, honest, and politically INcorrect stories that’ll have the media gasping, preorder ‘No Going Back,’” she wrote on X.,
Then, in an interview with Sean Hannity a few days later, Noem said journalists weren’t just overreacting, they were misrepresenting what she wrote.

“Well, Sean, you know how the fake news works,” she said. “They leave out some or most of the facts of a story, they put the worst spin on it, and that’s what happened in this case.”

Noem didn’t present any additional facts, she just argued that a 14-month-old dog isn’t a “puppy” and claimed she was protecting her kids by personally executing “dangerous” working animals as their school bus dropped them at home.

“The point of the story is that most politicians they will run from the truth, they will shy away and hide from making tough decisions,” Noem told Hannity. “I tell the truth and I make tough decisions.”

Ironically, in her next two interviews, Noem seemed to “run from the truth.” Face the Nation’s Margaret Brennan asked the governor a simple question: “Did you meet Kim Jong-un?”

Though Noem acknowledged that the claim is being removed from the book, she refused to answer the question directly, weirdly emphasizing that she’s met plenty of world leaders.

“As soon as this was brought to my attention, I certainly made some changes and looked at this passage,” Noem said. “And I’ve met with many, many world leaders. I’ve traveled around the world. As soon as it was brought to my attention, we went forward and have made some edits.”

Brennan kept pressing Noem on how the false claim got into the book and why it took her so long to catch it, since the governor read the audiobook herself. Brennan noted that this wasn’t a passing reference to Kim; Noem remarks in the book, “I’m sure he underestimated me, having no clue about my experience staring down little tyrants (I’d been a children’s pastor, after all).”

Rather than answering any of these legitimate questions, Noem sniped, “You have a question for me, Margaret?” and asked why the host wasn’t quizzing President Biden, who was not present during the interview, on his gaffes.

After her Face the Nation appearance, Noem complained on X: “In the fake news media, there are two sets of rules, and conservative are always treated differently. That’s why Americans don’t trust the Fake News.”

When ask about the Kim anecdotes Monday on CBS This Morning, Noem dodged again. “It’s a simple question: Did you or did you not meet with Kim Jong-un?,” asked anchor Natalie Morales. Noem just repeated her talking points. “That’s the answer that I have for you, is that it will be adjusted,” she said.

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