The Last-Minute Addition of Omarosa to NABJ Panel Leads Moderator, Panelist to Quit

Omarosa Manigault was added as a speaker to an NABJ panel at the last minute. (Photo by Gage Skidmore).

Trump administration aide Omarosa Manigault didn’t receive the warmest welcome this week at the National Association of Black Journalists annual convention in New Orleans.

Drama reportedly ensued after conference organizers unexpectedly added Manigault to a panel, much to the displeasure of the other panelists already there.

“The majority there don’t want her involved. It’s heavy drama. Even the moderator is refusing,” an unnamed source told Page Six. “Everyone sees it as extremely offensive.”

The news site reported that New York Times reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones was slated to moderate a panel on police brutality Friday, Aug. 11, which featured Valerie Castile, mom of police shooting victim Philando Castile; Sandra Sterling, aunt of Alton Sterling; and The New Yorker’s Jelani Cobb. Both Hannah-Jones and Cobb quit the panel and Ed Gordon of Bounce TV stepped in to moderate the event.

My reason for pulling out “wasn’t simply the addition of Omarosa,” Cobb told Page Six. “It was that she was added at the 11th 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.”

American Urban Radio Networks bureau chief and seasoned journalist April Ryan, who used to be good friends with Manigualt, also distanced herself from the top Trump aide. During a recent appearance on fellow CNN reporter Angela Rye’s podcast, Ryan accused Manigault of trying to sabotage her career.

“She was going around telling Sean Spicer not to call on me [during press conferences],” she said. “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 cell phones, and now you’re making $180,000 a year, good for you,” Ryan added. “But you know what? Karma comes back. And I told her, ‘The sad thing about it is: No one likes you.'”

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