Today's White House press briefing began with Sarah Huckabee Sanders complaining about reporters' focus on the Trump-Russia story to a Breitbart reporter, who was her first choice to call upon for a question.
As you may imagine, some of the legitimate reporters in the room had objections to that. One piped up right after she finished her whine, asking "You don't actually expect us to not report on stories of a foreign country trying to influence the presidential election?"
Huckabee Sanders reassured reporters that it's totally fine to report on "actual news" (as she defines it), but "there are a lot of things happening in this world that frankly a lot of people would like to hear about, whether it's job growth, whether it's deregulation, whether it's tax reform, health care."
Never mind those pesky Russians undermining our democracy, because DEREGULATION, am I right?
Sanders went on to whine some more, mewling that "if we make the slightest mistake, the slightest word is off, it is just an absolute tirade from a lot of people in this room, but news outlets get to go on, day after day, and cite unnamed sources, use stories without sources "
That sent Playboy's reporter Brian Karem off the edge and for the first time ever in a White House briefing, I heard the kind of pushback Spicer and she should be getting every single day.
"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 heavens is 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," he scolded.
And then the reminder for Huckabee Sanders about whom she serves.
"You have been elected to serve for four years at least. There's 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's right and everybody else out here is fake media. "Everybody in this room is only trying to do their job," he continued.
Her answer was classic gaslighting. It doesn't get any more obvious than this.
"I just -- I disagree completely, first of all. I think if anything has been inflamed, it's the dishonesty that often takes place by the news media and I think it is outrageous for you to accuse me of inflaming a story when I was simply trying to respond to his question," she huffed, before turning to the next question."
This is what should be taking place every single day in that briefing room, whether or not it is on camera, whether or not it is Sanders or Spicer. Every. damn. day. They need to be reminded that they serve WE THE PEOPLE and that we sign their goddamned paycheck, and when a reporter asks a question, it's their job to answer it, not whine about which stories media chooses to cover and which they do not.
Here is Karem's tweet following up on that exchange:
Here's more from Karem's Twitter feed. He should start giving the rest of the reporters in the room lessons on how to handle gaslighting fools like Sarah.
This post has been updated to reflect that Karem is a reporter for Playboy Magazine