Sarah Huckabee Sanders seemed to be visibly rattled and hostile during her
propaganda press briefing today, and her anger boiled over when she was asked about the photo posted by Dave Weigel.
CNN's Jim Acosta pinned her down on it, to her deep chagrin.
The original question was this: "I wonder if you can explain the discrepancy to the incidents like this which he calls fake news and talks quite a bit about and his silence on actual disinformation campaigns like Russia, Iran during the 2016 election to deliberately spread falsehoods. Why his silence on that and does he recognize the difference between these two?"
Whenever Huckabee Sanders starts her answer with the word "Look," you can assume she is lying and that she is angry.
"Look, the president is simply calling out a very direct and false accusation lodged against him," she said. "There was nothing more than an individual trying to put their bias into their reporting and something that, frankly, has gotten a little bit out of control."
Just getting warmed up, she continued, "We've seen it time and time again over the last couple of weeks a number of outlets have had to retract and change and re-write and make editor's notes to a number of different stories and some of them with major impacts including moving markets. This is a big problem and we think it should be something taken seriously."
None of that answered the question, did it? Sanders called on CNN's Jim Acosta and things really got hot.
Acosta pointed out, "Journalists make honest mistakes and that doesn't make them fake news."
"When journalists make honest mistakes they should own up to them," she huffed. As Acosta struggled to get his full question out, she kept interrupting him. "Sometimes, and a lot of times you don't. I'm sorry. I'm not finished. There's a very big difference between making honest mistakes and purposefully misleading the American people. Something that happens regularly."
Acosta tried to correct her, but she would have none of it. She steamrolled right over him with her claims that Weigel put out the photo on purpose in order to create "fake news," and that was going to be that.
After more ranting on Sanders' part, Acosta was finally able to get his full question about this issue (which was not really the question he wanted to ask) out on the table.
"Can you cite a specific story that you say is intentionally false that was intentionally put out there to mislead the American people?"
Sanders, with full disingenuous high dudgeon, named Brian Ross, who misreported the Flynn-Russia contacts as something Mueller believed to have occurred during the campaign instead of the transition, an error which ABC corrected the same day, just before they suspended Ross for four weeks.
"I think that it's very telling that that individual had to be suspended because of that reporting," she crowed. "I think that shows that the network took it seriously and recognized that it was a problem."
Ross's suspension was not for the report itself, but because Ross did not submit to the editorial standards required by ABC.
Acosta tried to get back to his original question, but Sarah would have none of it, which caused Kerfuffle Number Two, when she simply gagged Acosta in favor of another Jim.
Nevertheless, Acosta got his question in. He just didn't get an answer.
"I would like to ask the question that I had about these accusations of misconduct against the president and you said he's denied them, whether or not they are false," Acosta shouted as she turned to a "different Jim" for a friendlier, less scary question.
The idea that she would take aim like this at a reporter -- BY NAME -- and use the power of the presidency to try and get a reporter fired for a thing he tweeted and apologized for just shows how fascistic this crowd is. For Trump, it is a personal rivalry, and the presidency is his cudgel to use as a weapon against his rivals. It's not about the country, and it's not about a fair and free press. It is, instead, the attitude and action of a dictator for whom the personal is the political.
It might also be a good time to note that Trump tweeted fake propaganda videos about ISIS, never deleted them, offered a lame excuse, and the press let it go.
There is no difference in Trump's mind between Weigel and ISIS. They are both enemies, to be vanquished. That should disqualify him from everything, Russia or no Russia.