On Tuesday, White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, aka Suckabee, was doing her usual “Aw, shucks, golly gee” bullshit that eventually leads into an assault on the media and what this administration pushes as fake news. Keep in mind that this was the first time in weeks that the White House had allowed the press briefing to be televised. I’m not sure when the press became such wimps, but one reporter, Brian Karem, a correspondent for Playboy, had enough.
Suckabee was pushing as proof of fake news the resignation of three CNN employees over their work on a Russia-Trump investigative piece. Now, CNN stated in announcing the resignations that the story didn’t meet its journalistic standards, but there has been no proof that the story itself was false. But in any case, Karem had heard enough, and in a room full of media, he interrupted Suckabee to accuse her of making inflammatory remarks. Watch the heated exchange below:
In that moment, Karem stood up not only for CNN but for all the journalists who have been dying for someone to push back against this fake-news narrative the White House “trumpets” whenever stories are written of which President Vladimir Trumpelstiltskin doesn’t approve.
On Wednesday, Karem told MSNBC’s Morning Joe co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski that the confrontation was a long time coming.
“We are bullied and browbeaten every day, and I pretty much have had enough of it,” Karem said. “There’s really only two ways to deal with a bully: turn them into your friend, [but] I don’t think that’s a possibility, or let them know exactly what’s up, and you’re not going to take the bullying anymore. We can’t take the bullying anymore. It’s undermining the Fourth Estate, it’s undermining the First Amendment.”
Karem added that the president’s relentless pursuit of the fake-news narrative was, at its core, an assault on democracy.
“The reporters I know in that room—even Breitbart, those people are responsible; for the government to sit there and undermine, essentially, what is an essential checks and balances in the system, it’s a bit disheartening,” Karem said, Raw Story reports. “It’s unnerving. I can’t take it anymore, it’s nuts.”
Karem is right. Since Russia handed Trumpelstiltskin the election, the president has bullied the media, and his tactics have proved to be effective. When it was announced that press briefings wouldn’t be televised, the media did not protest the decision; instead they complied with the White House’s request and bitched about it on social media.
“What it speaks to is dissolving the independent media, and that’s what—it’s trying to co-opt the media, make us, if we don’t print what they want or broadcast what they like, we’re automatically fake media,” Karem said on Morning Joe.
Karem added that the fake-news narrative is arguably one of the only strategies the White House has, and it’s been consistent.
“It’s one of the few strategies i’ve seen from this White House, and it has been ongoing,” Karem said. “Look, I don’t lump everybody in with that. They’ve done some things that are incredibly open—adding Skype to their press briefings, bringing in members of the Cabinet for briefings—but at the same time, when the president of the United States, even [Wednesday] morning, is tweeting out ‘fake media,’ and telling us we’re the enemy of the people, he’s enflaming the very people who got him in office. He’s speaking to his base, and he’s trying to undermine the very essence of what we do, and that’s not good for this republic, it’s not good for this country. It’s anathema, it’s got to be stopped and we have to stand up to it.”
Read more at Raw Story.