Donald Trump has no love for the media. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders passes along his “truths” and a fair share of his disdain in the briefing room, so reporters were stunned when they received a year-end surprise.
The president began his attacks on the press during his campaign. He would rev up his rallies to a fevered pitch, then point out “Little, Katy Tur.” Things got so bad for her, the Secret Service had to walk her out of the venue and to her transportation.
Trump regularly calls the media “fake news,” and people are beginning to understand how disabling his war on the press has become. The president labels anything that does not please him “fake news,” in an attempt to distort people’s perceptions.
A wonderful line out of an old Marx brother’s movie, Duck Soup, fits:
“Who are you going to believe? Me or your lying eyes?”
Reporter Masha Gessen wrote in the New Yorker about Sanders pre-Thanksgiving news briefing:
‘Sarah Huckabee Sanders treated the White House press pool the way a sadistic teen-ager would treat a group of third graders. The journalists, for the most part, went along with it.
‘“Anybody want to be first on what they are thankful for?” Sanders asked. Her tone was menacing, the tone of a bully asking for a volunteer to be humiliated in front of the room.’
Yet, Sanders is a dream compared to Trump’s head speechwriter, Stephen Miller. He took the podium in the White House press room in August and picked a fight with CNN’s Jim Acosta. At one point, POLITICO reported that Miller said:
‘Jim, that is one of the most outrageous, insulting, ignorant and foolish things you’ve ever said … the notion that you think that this is a racist bill is so wrong and so insulting.’
Of course, Acosta never said the legislation was racist. Then, Miller continued:
‘Jim, I can honestly say I am shocked at your statement that you think that only people from Great Britain and Australia would know English,” Miller responded. “Actually, it reveals your cosmopolitan bias to a shocking degree.’
Heather Nauert works as spokesperson for the State Department, and her boss is Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. When she came out Thursday to give the reporters a briefing, they got their early Christmas present.
Nauert thanked the journalists who cover her department, highlighting their “dedication to the facts:”
‘I just wanted to say thank you so much for a terrific 2017.’I am truly honored to be working with you each and every day. Your professionalism, your dedication to the facts is really something that has been so impressive, and I just wanted to thank you all for the job that you do.’
Then, the spokeswoman also thanked State Department employees who have served the Trump administration for his first year. Certainly, they have had to cover for all the empty positions. She said:
‘We’ve had so many acting people that have stepped up and done very difficult jobs, and I just wanted to thank them and their families for supporting them in the work.’
You can see all of Nauert’s comments in The Hill video below:
Now, that is how the press should be treated, but it is sad that fair treatment of journalists is news.
Featured Image via Getty Images/Win McNamee.