The White House’s unofficial war against media has come to a point where it needs to be called out regularly and immediately.
And here’s a fine example as to how journalists, especially White House reporters, can — and should — do that.
This week, as Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders railed against the press for its fact-based coverage of the Trump administration’s lack of competency and transparency, for the umpteenth time, a reporter in the briefing room suddenly snapped at her.
“If we make the slightest mistake, or the slightest word is off, it is just an absolute tirade from a lot of people in this room,” Sanders said. “But news outlets get to go on, day after day, and cite unnamed sources, use stories without sources, have, you know, you mentioned the story where they had to have reporters are resign.”
That’s when Brian Karem, editor of the Montgomery County Sentinel, based outside Washington, D.C., interrupted Sanders.
“Come on. You’re inflaming everybody right here and right now with those words,” he said, before pointing out how the White House had also messed up facts in the past.
"Any one of us, right, are replaceable, and any one of us if we don't get it right, the audience has the opportunity to turn the channel or not read us," he continued. "You have been elected to serve for four years at least."
Then in true journalistic spirit, Karem reminded Sanders the reporters were there to ask questions and she was supposed to provide the answers.
"And what you just did is inflammatory to people all over the country who look at it and say, 'See, once again, the president is right, and everybody out here is fake media,'" he went on. "And everybody in this room is only trying to do their job."
Obviously, Sanders didn’t agree with Karem and continued her tirade against what she believes is “dishonest media.”
Nevertheless, Karem presented a brilliant example of how journalists should immediately call out the White House over its lies and distortion of facts.