These are dark times for many of us, including the press—which, when you think about it, is especially bad, because the news media helps hold offending parties accountable, but not if its members are barred from briefings (when they happen at all). In fact, the fourth estate as a whole has been under attack, having been declared an enemy of the American people by the leader of the American people. Individual reporters are also facing rough treatment, including being body-slammed, also by an (eventually) elected official.
With recent reports of a lack of due diligence at outlets with as extensive of resources as CNN, some might find it difficult to feel sorry for these muckrakers, but not the brave folks at Playboy. These longtime champions of pairing airbrushed nudes with Fahrehnheit 451 excerpts are tired of the combative Trump administration. One writer in particular, Brian J. Karem, lost his patience with deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who was filling in for Sean Spicer at a briefing yesterday. Huckabee Sanders was following the president’s example in railing against the press, going on about how the media can’t be trusted, even as the Republican-led Congress holds votes in the middle of the night to circumvent proper reportage (among other things). She’s also long since picked up his cue to spread unfounded or improperly vetted information, encouraging those at the press conference yesterday to watch a video that’s making the rounds, despite not being entirely certain of its accuracy.
After listening to Huckabee Sanders’ Twitter egg-levels of posturing, an exasperated Karem, who says the press was kept waiting for an hour to pose questions on healthcare and energy, flatly told the deputy press secretary she was being inflammatory. Karem reminded Huckabee Sanders that there’s more to governance than complaining about the press’ coverage of said governance, so the Trump administration should probably start focusing on that.
Come on, you’re inflaming everybody right here, right now, with those words. This administration has done that as well. Why in the name of heaven—any one of us 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.
You have been elected to serve for four years at least. There is no option other than that. We’re here to ask you questions. You’re here 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 else out here is fake media.’ And everybody out here is only trying to do their job.
Huckabee Sanders didn’t give much of a response, beyond repeating some stuff about “inflaming” and “dishonesty,” but Karem wasn’t really looking to goad her. As he writes for Playboy, he likes Huckabee Sanders (and Spicer, for some reason), but he’d just had enough of the “bullying” from the Trump administration—which again, is a situation many of us find ourselves in.