Jessica Tarlov refused to toe the Fox News Trump TV line, instead uttering a true thing about Sarah Sanders' tenure as White House Press Secretary.
June 14, 2019

Sarah Huckabee Sanders' departure from the White House is a case of "don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out." But for Fox News, it is a time for weeping, gnashing of teeth and history rewrites.

It also appears that Donald Trump wrote the bullet points and title for the giant curvy screen in back of the curvy couch, upon which Ed Henry sat as the designated "man in the middle." Here's a screen capture, in case you didn't see it the first time:


If you saw that two out of three uses of the word "briefing" are misspelled, you win the Nominally Literate Spelling prize.

At any rate, Ed Henry had the temerity to say aloud that it was "outrageous" that Sanders killed the daily press briefings, a statement that caused Harris Faulkner to leap to Sanders' defense.

“Have you ever seen another president give as much access is this?," a defensive Faulker asked. "If you go to get a sandwich if he’s getting on Marine One, then you better just stay at the restaurant because he will talk for however long. What’s the issue?”

I call those moments South Lawn Shoutfests. When he's really unhinged, they're Bitchfests. Let's be honest, these are in no way shape or form to be considered briefings. They're just opportunities for the always-enraged, ever-the-victim Trump to yell at the people he views as his enemies.

Henry answered, “The issue is, there is a certain accountability that any administration should have and yes the president takes heat but the press secretary stands at that podium.”

“Had they been unfair to her? Absolutely. But, guess what, she gives as good as she gets, " he noted.

Unfair? Hardly, especially when every word out of Sanders' mouth was a lie, a sneer, or a deflection. We have many examples of her duplicity and mendacity, which oozed out of her with every word.

As an example of Trump's "transparency," Faulkner noted that just that morning he gave an hour-long "interview" to Fox & Friends. Of course, it wasn't an interview at all, but was simply a phoner with his favorite morning folks on Trump TV. None of them on that panel bothered to point out that doing phoners with friendly media is not the same as a briefing with adversarial questions and answers.

"There’s obviously a more complicated story to tell about her connection to the press and lies that she may have told from the podium,” Jessica Tarlov observed toward the end of the segment.

That prompted a round of outrage from Faulkner, a sigh from Ed Henry, and the general shutdown of the segment, because really, the nerve of that woman, telling the truth and all.

First, no cable news outlet should allow Trump to do phoners. Second, when he does his rantfests on the South Lawn, they should be recorded, fact-checked and edited to remove the baseless personal attacks before they're aired. There's no need to air them live and unfiltered. And third, it's absolutely true that Sarah Sanders' job wasn't to brief the press as much as it was to schmooze them and soften them up so she could lie more blatantly to their faces. Harris Faulkner and the gang can float down the River Denial at their own peril.

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