Kaboom! Acosta, Sanders Throw Down in WH Briefing; ‘I’m Not Taking Another Question From You’

Monday’s White House press briefing was another one for the ages as CNN’s self-righteous senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta came ready to rumble against Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, but quickly ran into the proverbial buzzsaw during a debate on liberal media bias. 

Acosta fetched plenty of support as journalists could be heard shouting throughout the exchange in efforts to heckle Sanders (led by CNN political analyst, Playboy correspondent, and Sentinel Newspapers writer Brian Karem).

 

 

Politico’s Matthews Nussbaum actually lit the match on this fire, asking Sanders why there’s a “discrepancy” between President Trump’s outrage over mistakes by journalist and government-backed efforts to influence elections (like Russia somehow causing voters to elect Trump). 

Sanders responded that Trump called out The Washington Post’s David Weigel for one such mistake because it was “a very direct and false accusation lodged against him” that was only the latest in a series of outlets having “to retract and change and re-write and make editor's notes to a number of different stories and some of them with major impacts.”

Acosta then leaped into action, stating that “journalists make honest mistakes and that doesn't make them fake news.” Sanders shot back that “when journalists make honest mistakes, they should own up to them” but clearly haven’t. 

After an unidentified reporter shouted “we do” from the peanut gallery, the verbal brawl was on:

SANDERS: Sometimes, and a lot of times you don't. But there’s a difference —

ACOSTA: The President hasn’t!

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The President does it all the time

ACOSTA: The President hasn’t!

SANDERS: There’s a very big — I'm sorry. I'm not finished. 

ACOSTA: Okay.

SANDERS: There's a very big difference between making honest mistakes and purposefully misleading the American people. Something that happens regularly. You can't say — 

BRIAN KAREM: You mean like tweeting — 

SANDERS: I'm not done. 

KAREM: —about stuff in the Middle East. 

SANDERS: You cannot say —

KAREM: He tweeted something that was completely fake, Sarah and he admitted it.

SANDERS: — you cannot say that it's an honest mistake when you are purposely putting out information that you know to be false or when you're taking information that hasn't been validated, that hasn't been offered any credibility and that has been continually denied by a number of people including people with direct knowledge of an incident. 

KAREM: Are you saying that about the President?

SANDERS: This is something that — I'm speaking about the number of reports that have taken place over the last couple of weeks. I'm simply stating that there should be a certain level of responsibility in that process. 

Acosta lamented that they didn’t want to talk about this, but instead of pivoting back to what he wanted to ask Sanders about, the smug liberal journalist implored Sanders to “cite a specific story that you say is intentionally false, that was intentionally put out there to mislead the American people.”

Sanders succinctly cited the false story from ABC’s Brian Ross as “pretty misleading to the American people” and so Acosta attempted to move on, but enough time had elapsed that Sanders wanted to shift to Lifezette’s Jim Stinson.

Of course, Acosta continued throwing a fit:

ACOSTA: Sarah, if I may, though, I was going to ask a question about something else.

SANDERS: Well, you used it on something else. Jim? 

JIM STINSON: Sarah, is —

ACOSTA: If I may — 

STINSON: Sarah —

SANDERS: Not today. We’re going to keep moving, guys. 

ACOSTA: If I can ask about the other — 

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The other Jim!

ACOSTA: — accusations leveled against him.

SANDERS: I'm moving to a different Jim. I'm sorry. 

Acosta shrieked that he wanted to know “once and for all” whether the allegations of sexual misconduct against the President were true, so Sanders decided to use Acosta’s own line against him:

SANDERS: Jim, I’m going to say once and for all that I'm moving on to Jim Stinson and I'm not taking another question from you at this point. 

ACOSTA: I think I was — I was, in my defense, just responding to your attacks on the news media if that’s okay. 

STINSON: Sarah, a question about investments — investment taxes —

ACOSTA: I would like to ask the question that I had about these accusations of misconduct against the President. You said he's denied them. Can you say whether or not they are false. That’s all I’m asking here.

SANDERS: I’m not going to respond to that question.

Later in the briefing, both Karem and fellow CNN political analyst April Ryan caused similar scenes. It’s interesting how, time and again, CNN’s payroll features most of the reporters who throw temper tantrums and engage in heated exchanges with the White House press secretary.

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Here’s the relevant transcript from December 11's White House Press Briefing:

White House Press Briefing
December 11, 2017
2:26 p.m. Eastern

JIM ACOSTA: And I would just say, Sarah, that journalists make honest mistakes and that doesn't make them fake news, but the question that I have —

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS: Well, when journalists make honest mistakes, they should own up to them. 

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: We do!

SANDERS: Sometimes, and a lot of times you don't. But there’s a difference —

ACOSTA: The President hasn’t!

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The President does it all the time

ACOSTA: The President hasn’t!

SANDERS: There’s a very big — I'm sorry. I'm not finished. 

ACOSTA: Okay.

SANDERS: There's a very big difference between making honest mistakes and purposefully misleading the American people. Something that happens regularly. You can't say — 

BRIAN KAREM: You mean like tweeting — 

SANDERS: I'm not done. 

KAREM: —about stuff in the Middle East. 

SANDERS: You cannot say —

KAREM: He tweeted something that was completely fake, Sarah and he admitted it.

SANDERS: — you cannot say that it's an honest mistake when you are purposely putting out information that you know to be false or when you're taking information that hasn't been validated, that hasn't been offered any credibility and that has been continually denied by a number of people including people with direct knowledge of an incident. 

KAREM: Are you saying that about the President?

SANDERS: This is something that — I'm speaking about the number of reports that have taken place over the last couple of weeks. I'm simply stating that there should be a certain level of responsibility in that process. 

[JOURNALISTS SHOUTING]

ACOSTA: This was not —

SANDERS: Brian, I called on Jim. 

ACOSTA: — this is not the line of questioning that I was going down, but can you cite a specific story that you say is intentionally false, that was intentionally put out there to mislead the American people? 

SANDERS: Sure. The ABC report by Brian Ross. I think that was pretty misleading to the American people, and I think that it's very telling that that individual had to be suspended because of that reporting. I think that shows that the network took it seriously and recognized that it was a problem. Jim? 

ACOSTA: Sarah, if I may, though, I was going to ask a question about something else.

SANDERS: Well, you used it on something else. Jim? 

JIM STINSON: Sarah, is —

ACOSTA: If I may — 

STINSON: Sarah —

SANDERS: Not today. We’re going to keep moving, guys. 

ACOSTA: If I can ask about the other — 

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The other Jim!

ACOSTA: — accusations leveled against him.

SANDERS: I'm moving to a different Jim. I'm sorry. 

ACOSTA: I know, but I needed a chance to ask the question that I wanted to ask which is —

SANDERS: Jim —

ACOSTA:  — can you just say once and for all whether these accusations — 

SANDERS: Jim, I’m going to say once and for all that I'm moving on to Jim Stinson and I'm not taking another question from you at this point. 

ACOSTA: I think I was — I was, in my defense, just responding to your attacks on the news media if that’s okay. 

STINSON: Sarah, a question about investments — investment taxes —

ACOSTA: I would like to ask the question that I had about these accusations of misconduct against the President. You said he's denied them. Can you say whether or not they are false. That’s all I’m asking here.

SANDERS: I’m not going to respond to that question. 

ACOSTA: You’re not going to?

SANDERS: Go ahead, Jim.


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CyberAlerts Media Bias Debate Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats CNN Fake News Video Government & Press Jim Acosta White House Press Briefing Brian Karem April Ryan Sarah Huckabee Sanders
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