After Jim Acosta's tango with Sarah Huckabee Sanders during Thursday's press briefing, he made an appearance to share his frustration with her deflections and refusal to say what everyone plainly knows except her boss, apparently: The press is not the enemy of the people.
Baldwin also did a little fact checking along the way, pointing out that no one from CNN has called for any physical attack on Sanders before turning the floor over to Acosta, who led off by noting that he thinks she was echoing the "true feelings" of Donald Trump, and those who work in his administration.
"I was giving Sarah several opportunities to set the record straight and she flat refused," he complained.
"We have to call that stuff out. We have to fact check them," he told Baldwin. "We're fact checkers in real-time with this president because he tells falsehoods and lies so much."
Well, amen to that and good for him for not holding back. Of course, I will just interject that it is also true that you do not need to cover every burp and fart of this White House in real time, too. Perhaps it is like cameras in the courtroom. Once they are removed, things move along without all the bullshit. Maybe?
From here, Acosta just lurched into a delicious and long-overdue rant. I will put the rough transcript here for posterity but it's far more delicious to watch.
ACOSTA: And, it's unfortunate the position that we're all in right now. And I'm standing in this briefing room right now. There's no government official here but I'll say that the press is not the enemy of the people.
And, you know, I think maybe we should make some bumper stickers. Make some buttons, you know maybe we should go out on Pennsylvania Avenue like these folks who chant CNN sucks and fake news, maybe we should go out, all journalists on Pennsylvania Avenue and chant we're not the enemy of the people because I'm tired of this.
Honestly, Brooke, i'm tired of this. It is not right. It is not fair. It is not just. It is un-American to come out here and call the press the enemy of the people and Ivanka Trump knows that. I don't know why her father doesn't. And I don't know why this press secretary doesn't.
I mean she got yelled at at a restaurant in Virginia. I feel sorry about that. I feel badly for her that happened. That comedian at the Correspondent's Dinner said some unpleasant things about her. I'm sorry about that. She ought to hear some of the things that were said about me the other night in Tampa. She ought read things that are said about my colleagues on CNN on a regular basis.
It would be nice if we all lowered the temperature a little bit but at the very least, I think we should all be able to agree on one thing, and that is the press is not the enemy of the people. Fellow Americans are not the enemy of fellow Americans. And, you know, forgive me forgoing on a rant. They lost sight of that here at this White House.
Can I get an AMEN? And I would totally buy one of the bumper stickers. We're hard on the media, particularly the cable networks here. But we're hard on them because we believe they are NOT the enemy of the people, and want them to be accountable and accurate. Jim Acosta and April Ryan have been two of the best truth-seekers we have in the White House press corps, and the truth is NEVER the enemy of the people.