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Can’t Trust Kristi: 20 Minutes on CNN, Gives Only One Direct, Honest Answer

My life is smallened by dedicating any time to Governor Kristi Noem’s atrociously bad interview with Dana Cash on CNN Sunday. But such is the impact that any noise emanating from her mouth has on language, political discourse, and public intelligence. Her appearances on national TV serve only two competing purposes:

  1. Build her celebrity among potential id-scratching voters, and
  2. Demonstrate to the thinking world Kristi Noem’s dishonesty.

Dana Bash asked Governor Noem several direct questions. Noem answered only one of them directly. She left most of them completely unanswered.

I’ve already covered Noem’s non-responses to Bash’s questions about family leave and state-funded childcare, Medicaid expansion, and abortion law. After those three exercises in Noem’s drunken diversions, Bash could have served the public by turning to the camera, declaring that it was clear Noem had nothing enlightening or honest to say, and cutting to commercial. But Bash decided to try a few more questions… and got the same evasive results:

Services for women: Leading from the paid leave and Medicaid questions to the main abortion question, Bash asked Noem whether a state that bans abortion has “a greater responsibility to directly support, financially support with services women, girls, children?” That’s an interesting philosophical question, meaning Kristi Noem has no interest in it. She asserted that the state already has agencies and grants and programs doing that. Noem did move from the is to the ought and say “we should”… but the specifics disappeared into her frequent trope that “that’s a debate we need to have”. Alarmingly, the only specific she mentioned after that was the “many pregnancy centers… that do walk alongside those mothers today bringing us ideas.”

Translation: Noem and Jon Hansen will propose pouring public dollars into Leslee Unruh’s Alpha Center and other religious propaganda centers to confine and indoctrinate pregnant women. Yikes.

Same-sex marriage: Given that South Dakota still has a 2006 ban on gay marriage in its Constitution, Bash asked Noem if the Supreme Court should follow Justice Clarence Thomas’s suggestion to reconsider legalizing same-sex marriage. Noem did not say yes or no; instead she recited Justice Sam Alito’s assurance that the Dobbs ruling on abortion “did not indicate that they were going to move on to other subjects and continue this type of decision across the board.”

Bash didn’t ask if the Supreme Court would revisit same-sex marriage; Bash asked Noem if Noem thinks the Court should revisit same-sex marriage. Noem said same-sex marriage “will be a debate that we will continue to have” at the state level… but states can only have that debate, as they are now having about abortion, if the court overturns its Obergefell 2014 ruling and allows states like South Dakota to enact their theocratic controls on private lives.

Translation: She won’t say it, but yes, Noem hopes very much Justice Thomas follows through, overturns Obergefell, and lets her reactivate South Dakota’s ban on gay marriage.

January 6, Cassidy Hutchinson, and Donald Trump: Bash asked Noem if Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony to Congress about what she heard Donald Trump say on January 6 (specifically, the part about his knowing that he was going to direct an armed mob to march to the Capitol—”They’re not here to hurt me”) alarmed Noem. Noem deflected: “Well, what alarms me is the way that this hearing has been conducted.” When she dismissed Hutchinson’s testimony as debunked hearsay, Bash pointed out that specific quote she’d played in the preceding video clip was Hutchinson’s description of words she heard directly from Donald Trump’s mouth. Noem dismissed Hutchinson’s credibility and turned to talking about gasoline prices.

Ignoring Noem’s plea to talk about something else, Bash reminded Noem that Hutchinson, unlike folks disputing her testimony, testified under oath. Then Bash tried to turn to a broader question about January 6: “Do you believe that President Trump bears any responsibility for what happened on January 6?”

I quote Noem’s response in full, not because her words are valuable, memorable, or meaningful, but because I feel obliged to establish with her own words her gross deception, deflection, and refusal to answer a profoundly important question:

I think January 6 was a horrific day in our history. I never want to see that happen again.

I think, moving forward, that we have got to have a time in our country where we all start talking to each other again, where we start having conversations, we get much better policy. I talk about this in my book, Dana, where I talked about the fact that we have become a country so offended by each other that we quit talking to each other.

And it’s hurting public debate that we have to have different perspectives around the table to have an open conversation. And we will end up with much better policy, better laws if we can take the emotion and the anger and the bitterness out of our conversation, and really talk about what is best for our country and where we can agree and move forward.

BASH: Right.

The question is whether President Trump bears any responsibility.

NOEM: I think we all need to examine this country and where we’re going.

And I’m hopeful that people will look to our state. Our state has done incredible things. I think the country is desperate for some hope right now. The best weekend to focus on that is this weekend, where we celebrate our freedoms, our independence, and really look forward with an optimistic attitude.

I think we have got a bright future ahead of us as long, as we continue to represent our people [Gov. Kristi Noem, interviewed by Dana Bash, transcript, CNN: State of the Union, 2022.07.03].

Bash’s question about Trump’s responsibility for the January 6 insurrection is not hard to answer. If, like me, you’re committed to fact and the rule of law, you say, “Heck yeah! 100%! Lock him up!” If you are gunning for theocracy or an invite to Mar-a-Lago, you say, “Heck no! Free speech isn’t a crime! The FBI and Antifa staged the riot!”

But if you’re Kristi Noem, you don’t say what you’re thinking. Maybe you don’t even think. You just recite what your coach told you until the reporter gets tired of repeating the question.

Trump/Noem 2024: The one question Noem answered directly was whether she would support Trump for President in 2024. “Well, if he runs, I will support him. I have said that many times, I think his policies were good for our country.”

Noem tried to ignore the second part of Bash’s question—”and, B, would you like to be his running mate?” Bash restated the running-mate question, and Noem gave the deflection we expect from every possible running mate: I’m focused on getting reëlected, would be shocked if he asked, focused on South Dakota (a flat lie, but go on). Nobody would have answered that question in an interesting or informative way, so I throw no big flag there.

Gas-tax holiday: Back to policy: Bash asked if Noem would take up President Biden’s call for states to pause their gasoline taxes.

If Noem were a real conservative, she’d have said, “Yes, I’ll ask the Legislature to suspend the gasoline tax. It is always a good day to cut taxes!” If Noem were paying attention to her fellow South Dakota pols and press, she’d have said, “No, South Dakota conservatives and liberals agree that a gas-tax holiday is bad policy. It was bad when John McCain proposed it; it’s bad now when Joe Biden proposes it.”

But since Noem is incapable of direct communication, she said not one word about South Dakota’s gasoline tax. Like drunk Siri, Noem heard “gas” and defaulted to her energy policy blurb: open up supply…Keystone pipeline…drilling on federal lands…regulations…enemies on foreign soil…American-first energy policies…start depending on ourselves and become independent.


In a 20-minute interview, Kristi Noem’s only immediate, unequivocal response was her declaration of support for Donald Trump for President. Such snap fealty is the only remaining certainty among Noem and her party, who stand stripped of all prior principles by the cult of personality. Every other sentence Noem strang together Sunday was a small-minded exercise in talking-point recall and rude evasion, disrespecting the viewers, the interviewer, and basic rules of logic and discourse.

If I spent 20 minutes with a person, asked several questions, and got only one direct answer, I’d conclude that I couldn’t trust that person. Objective viewers of Sunday’s CNN interview with South Dakota’s Governor could easily come to the same conclusion about Kristi Noem.


  1. grudznick 2022-07-05

    This is one of the great tragedies for those afflicted with NDS. They waste vast amounts of time gnashing and raging about nothing. grudznick suspects it’s all part of a bigger plan being hatched by Governor Noem.

  2. Guy 2022-07-05

    It will be nice when we vote Kristi out of office once and for all. We will never again have to listen to her lies. We will no longer have to look at her narcissistic face. We can then get back to the South Dakota I remember living in years ago.

  3. DaveFN 2022-07-05

    “Objective viewers of Sunday’s CNN interview with South Dakota’s Governor could easily come to the same conclusion about Kristi Noem.”

    I might suggest “should” or, more forcibly, “must,” if, that is, they have any lick of sense.

  4. Guy 2022-07-05

    … when Kristi Noem is finally voted out, she will end up like an old washed-up soap opera actress who still screams for attention on her Twitter account. But by that time, she’ll have lost all relavance and nobody will care.

  5. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-07-05

    Guy, in response to your comparison, I suggest that Moira Rose had more heart, authenticity, and talent than South Dakota’s current governor. Moira Rose was also much funnier.

  6. Guy 2022-07-05

    Cory, oh yeah the fictional character of Moira Rose, a washed-uo actress. Point on, Cory! I was also thinking of former real life Young & the Restless actress, Brenda Dickson, who was fired from the soap in 1987. In an attempt to stay relevant, Dickson went on to produce a documentary about her home, what she ate, what she wore, how to put on her makeup. Today, some 35 years later, she still rages on about her firing and posts photos of herself lin a vain attempt to show she is still relevant while trying to show she still looks 40 years old. She’s still trying to sell her book, “My True Hollywood Story.” I can see the same thing happening to Kristi, 35 years from now when she is 85 years old, Kristi will still be trying to look 45 and selling her book, “Not My First Rodeo”. Like Dickson, maybe Kristi will produce her own documentary: “Welcome to My Ranch.”

  7. All Mammal 2022-07-06

    Hey, Mr. G- Try as I might, I cannot be sure what this affliction of NDS is. Kicking around the Low German talkers, or Neurological Disability Scale? I’ll just go with the former if you aren’t thrilled with forever explaining things, which I understand. But I would be much obliged since the folks I have asked don’t know either. Also, do you think the governor’s plan will hatch like a louse? If so, we better keep our caps on over our naps. She would hatch a cootie.

    Governor Noem’s starved appearances on TV are mortifying. She has no couth. Even the most spoiled, privileged, pristine people don’t act like that on TV.
    I doubt she eats her corn off the cob.

  8. Bonnie B Fairbank 2022-07-06

    Sort of reminded me of Jim Acosta “grilling” Kayleigh McEnazi. I wish just one marvelous time ANY interviewer would snap and tell the loathsome piece of poop to get out of the studio NOW, and then rip their retreating heads off. I love my fantasies.

  9. P. Aitch 2022-07-06

    NDS aka Noem Derangement Syndrome is the default excuse when small grudznichts has no rhetoric to defend the actions of his SD governess. It’s small speak for “I’ve lost. Take my goats and cause me no more pain, please.”

  10. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-07-06

    Noem Derangement Syndrome is what allows people to listen to this CNN interview and think they are hearing an honest leader.

  11. All Mammal 2022-07-06

    Oh, man. I was way off. Thank you, P. Aitch and Mr. H.

  12. Jeremiah Johnson 2022-07-07

    Fear Governor Noem
    Oops! What I meant to say

    Dear Governor Noem

    You say you fight for the birth and life of the child, but I bet you, “policies”, will basically back out after a child is born. Maybe not right of way, but eventually there Will be more more help, probably wasn’t much help in the 1st place. Leaving mother’s, father’s, and children struggling. Struggling in a system that even Now doesn’t work. I ask, how is an Abortion Ban going help an already tired, overwhelmed, and backlogged System. If anything you’re adding weight on to an already barely floating boat. Governor Noem, how are you possibly going to change this. What specifically are you going to do for the mother’s, father’s, children, unborn children, and Families. Governor Noem, I ask this simple question being, because South Dakota already provides a very limited amount of help and resources through Social Services and other programs. Governor Noem if South Dakota already gives the bare minimum help and resources to wanted pregnancies and births. What help and resources will be provided for (unwanted, health risk, and case of rape/incest, Which I will call “mental health/trauma pregnancies and births). Governor Noem, you stated there will be help, resources, funding, assistance, and programs. Will South Dakota South Dakota have a guaranteed foster home for children of unwanted pregnancies. Will South Dakota give added assistance and cover additional cost for health risk pregnancies. For, but not limited to, added medical bills due to potential complications, long-term care after birth due to complications during pregnancy or birth, in home care for potential disabled mother or special needs child, medical and funeral cost for potential death of mother or child due to complications during pregnancy or birth. Will South Dakota in the case of mental health pregnancies provide and cover cost for but not limited to, full cost mental health evaluations, provide and cover cost for counseling, mental health expert’s, medication, mental health pregnancies and births ages 17 and under: full medical coverage “physical/mental health” plus additional assistance and resources, full medical coverage, cost, and financial compensation in the case of death of the mother during pregnancy or birth, like in the case of a 10yr old rape victim, this Young girls are at a higher risk of complications or death during pregnancy or birth, higher risk of mental health issues and mental health disorders, Higher risk of suicide. That being said, Governor Kristi Noem has Leaving the child with a mother or family that couldn’t take the responsibility on “Yes that can happen”, and they don’t all end up at Angelina Jolie’s house. Leaving the child to a lifetime of hardships. Trolling through foster care, from family to family. Maybe getting raped or molested. Eventually becoming pregnant by someone they’re supposed to be able to trust, “Because the System Works”. Only to have another child born into “Because the System Works ” world. The politics and system that lacks such moral courage, empathy, and higher consciousness to understand your fellow Human Being. They say, everyone believes in God when they are stuck in a Foxhole. Well to those that say it’s murder, against God and is a sin. Well that is something someone has to reconcile and “Is entitled to” with their own conscience individually or take it up with their own God. Which is between them and their own God or Higher Power. To take another human beings choice, decision, and Free Will when it comes to their own Mind, Body, and Soul. The One undeniable gift God gave us, Our own Choices, Decisions, and Free Will to do so. That no Man can take away. Well, The Law in itself goes against God, by taking all of those things away.

    P.S. Pro-Mind,Body,Soul
    Sincerely, Jeremiah Johnson

  13. tara volesky 2022-07-07

    Noem makes soon to be ex PM of Great Britain Boris Johnson look like a choir boy.

  14. Richard Schriever 2022-07-07

    grudz, you accidentally, i suspect, got one thing right about Noem. There is no there there. Thus the “nothing” rages on.

  15. grudznick 2022-07-07

    Thank you, Mr. Schriever. You are more perceptive than most of the rest of the shallow thinking libbies.

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