Since the election of Donald Trump, irony drips from every statement coming from the White House. Amidst calls for “decorum” by the press, because most refuse to stick to softball questions or the praise Trump so craves, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders went on Fox News to once again try to insult CNN reporter Jim Acosta.
Her statements would be laughable if they didn’t have real-world consequences that are detrimental to democracy. Asked about the ruling by a Trump-appointed judge that the White House must reinstate Acosta’s press pass after taking it away under false pretenses, Sanders said:
‘We’ll work with our team on that and certainly moving into Thanksgiving holiday we’ll see how long that process takes, but I think there are some just standard practices…I think the very basic minimum is that if certain reporters like Jim Acosta can’t be adults, then CNN needs to send somebody in there who can be’
Her statements follow an incident in which she tweeted a doctored video that purported to show Acosta assaulting a female White House aide who touched him at least four times trying to take his microphone. When she reached between his arms to do so, his forearm brushed her bicep, although Sanders sped-up video makes the contact seem more like an intentional hit. It wasn’t, and media outlets including Fox News have stood behind the CNN reporter.
We stand by our decision to revoke this individual’s hard pass. We will not tolerate the inappropriate behavior clearly documented in this video. pic.twitter.com/T8X1Ng912y
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) November 8, 2018
Trump also made false statements regarding the judge’s decision, who said that while no one has a guaranteed right to access inside the White House, it is a violation of Acosta’s due process rights for the Trump administration to take his press pass since he’s already been cleared for access and has attended many such press conferences as the one in which Trump started the feud between the two.
‘Yeah, its fine, I mean it’s not a big deal. What they said, though, is that we have to create rules and regulations for conduct etc. etc. We’re doing that, were going to write them up right now. It’s not a big deal and if he misbehaves, we’ll throw him out or we’ll stop the news conference.’
That’s not at all what the judge ruled, although Sanders has also tried to spin it that way. Judge Timothy J. Kelly also wrote in his decision that the claims of assault by Acosta are “likely untrue.”
— CSPAN (@cspan) November 16, 2018
The irony is that “decorum” left the White House when President Obama did. The current president has called a woman with whom he had an extramarital affair “horse face,” tweeted that Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand begged for donations and “would do anything for them,” and regularly lashes out at black female reporters. Sanders also regularly berates members of the media during press conferences.
Our courts shouldn’t have to do this. The credentials shouldn’t have been taken away in the first place. The freedom of the press is critical to our democracy. https://t.co/eoQMxqd061
— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) November 17, 2018
The people who most need lessons in “decorum” are the president and his press secretary.
Featured image screenshot via YouTube