Nicolle Wallace almost needed to punch someone today while watching a clip of Sarah Huckabee Sanders' press briefing today. All I can say to that is, WE ARE ALL NICOLLE WALLACE.
Discussing the extremely uncivil and mob-like behavior of the attendees of the Orange Menace's Tampa rally, Wallace showed Jim Acosta's video of the scene and explained that there had to be a significant amount of censoring done to make it appropriate for TV. The members of the press were heckled aggressively and cursed at by rally-goers, and prevented from doing their jobs. At the White House briefing today, reporters challenged Sarah Huckabee Sanders about her boss' encouragement of menacing behavior towards the press.
When Sanders completely dismissed it with the most condescending and obvious disdain, our Nicolle couldn't take it anymore. She became completely flustered and furious, barely able to string a sentence together, but managed to declare that this was the LAST Sarah Huckabee Sanders clip she ever wanted to air on the 4 o'clock hour. E-V-E-R. It was quite a moment.
WALLACE: Those boos were for Jim Acosta. That's what it was like for him last night in Tampa. CNN White house correspondent Jim Acosta, in case you were curious what that looked like from his perspective, he shared his first person view on his Twitter account. By the way, it took us a while to bleep and blur everything that needed to be bleeped and blurred to make this PG for our viewers. But what happened in that video didn't give the president's son, Eric Trump any pause at all. He tweeted the video from different angle with the caption, "#truth." Guess what? Guess who retweeted that? The president of the United States. Classy guy. Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked about this in today's briefing. Her first answer was a recounting of the responsibilities of the press. So they tried again.
REPORTER: Do you support that or not?
SANDERS: While we certainly support freedom of the press, we support freedom of speech and we think those things go hand in hand.
WALLACE: Joining us now, from The New York Times — we're not going to air that any more. Let's make that the last Sarah Huckabee Sanders clip ever aired at 4:00. That is it. Ever. It makes me sweat. That is VILE.
HEILEMANN: The previous answer --
WALLACE: It makes me sweat. This is someone who complains about a restaurant that exercises their First Amendment right to kick out someone they think is obliterating democratic norms. Seriously, it made me sweat.
HEILEMANN: The prepared answer where she talked about the responsibilities of the press and talked about Osama bin Laden was just is a pack of lies. The prepared answer was a pack of lies and we got that.
WALLACE: While I gather — Jim Rutenberg — We're going to get into this. Heilemann, set up lies. I'm gathering myself. Let's watch some lies.
While that was genuinely passionate and emotional on behalf of her fellow journalists, the next part of the discussion with Peter Baker put it into stark, realistic terms.
WALLACE: Peter Baker, let me ask you about the conduct at the press briefing today. The New York Times publisher, I'm guessing that's your boss, was in with the president not making any New York Times-specific case, but simply talking about the effect around the world when the American president calls the media, generally speaking, the enemy of the people. I know it's uncomfortable to talk about yourselves and your role because in this country, We have a lot of freedom. We are by and large safe to go about doing our jobs. What was, what was the publisher of your paper trying to convey and what are the concerns to be a White House reporter under this president?
BAKER: Well, look, I don't know about cause and effect. That's obviously something that is going to be debated. But there is a real concern in our newsrooms and in other newsrooms these days about the safety of journalists. There has been for a lot of time. It's hard not to watch what happened in Annapolis just a few months ago, maybe two months ago the gunman who showed up, not related to the president -- the White House. The environment is so toxic, these days, of course, that security is a rising concern among journalists. Feeding into that concern, to hear a president sit there and talk about enemies of the people to encourage crowds, not just to disapprove of the media or criticize the media, but to heckle and jeer and behave in the way you saw in that tape. That's that's what A.J. Salisbury was talking about. I think particularly he is concerned about overseas, foreign correspondents are in awfully hazardous places at times. Some of these really authoritarian regimes take what they see happening here and use it as an excuse for much more draconian measures in their own countries that have put journalists, both foreign correspondents and domestic correspondents at risk. He was trying to get through to the president there was a consequence for words and he was hoping for an audience that would be receptive.
Indeed. I don't think anyone is deluded enough to think Salisbury HAD an audience that was receptive...especially since President Putinlecher admires the regime in Russia so much. We all know how journalists who challenge the power there end up.
Nicolle, honey. We're with you. We are ALL with you. We would all be just FINE if you never aired another Sarah Huckabee Sanders clip during your show again.