Eye Roll: CNN Brings on Karem to Defend, Trumpet His Crazy Outburst at the WH Press Briefing

These people can be so predictable. Hours after his angry outburst during Thursday’s White House Press Briefing, Playboy writer, Sentinel Newspapers editor, and CNN political analyst Brian Karem was given a hero’s welcome on Erin Burnett OutFront to expand on his squabble with Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders over the detention of illegal immigrant children.

Host Erin Burnett softly and sympathetically told Karem that “[l]ooking at your body language, the way you were talking there, obviously you made it personal, talking about Sanders being a mother to young children” and it “was obviously....a passionate moment for you, an emotional moment for you.”

 

 

Oh please. And the press wonder why droves of Americans dislike them. Too many reporters act like they’re starring in movies about their own lives. 

Karem explained that he lashed out because he’s “covered the border for five years and I've seen the conditions under which people live that force them to flee and come to the United States and risk all” and the other reason was that Sanders opened the door for this discussion because she’s mentioned her own children during briefings and Wednesday night in a tweet.

Yes, that’s why. 

“So it's — it’s a very human question to ask. I mean, do you have empathy for what these people go through? Regardless of policy, what I want to see, what I to ask — what I want to know, is, where do you draw the line...But the simple fact of the matter is the separation of church and state, it's abhorrent for someone to use the Bible in that manner,” Karem smugly added.

Karem’s outburst was straight up advocacy and while more and more journalists believe that such behavior should be encouraged in the age of Trump, it’s not winning them any new supporters

Brunett touted reactions such as CNN contributor and former government ethics head Walter Schaub sucking up to him to Fox News’s Jesse Waters blasting him as having “embarrassed himself” before lobbing more softballs: 

Now, you — you just made the case now. You said, look, she brings up her children frequently, and she invokes them. So, your choosing to do so was not out of turn but consistent with choices she herself had made. It’s an important point. What do you say to those who say what you did was inappropriate?

Karem shrugged off the criticism by claiming former liberal journalists Sam Donaldson and Helen Thomas as having advised him that “it's important to get the question asked” and “there’s no such thing as a bad question, only bad answers.”

With that as his moral compass, no interruptions or unprofessional tangents are out-of-bounds because we have a “President Donald Trump” and not “King Donald Trump.”

Instead of offering some thoughts on this petulant behavior and laudatory defense of it by Burnett (and other CNN colleagues), let’s allow Karem’s conclusion speak for itself:

He's responsible to us and it’s a valid question. Where are we morally as a country? Where are we? And I want to know. As a voter, as a taxpayer, I want to know where the administration sits on this issue and they haven't answered it, and they've put children in cages and that’s quite frightening to me. It stands to many people as an antithesis to what this country stands for. So, it demands an answer.

To see the relevant transcript from CNN’s Erin Burnett OutFront on June 14, click “expand.”

CNN’s Erin Burnett OutFront
June 14, 2018
7:42 p.m. Eastern

ERIN BURNETT: New questions tonight for the Trump administration about its policy of separating children from their parents after they enter the United States illegally. The policy sparking a very heated exchange in the White House Press Briefing this afternoon. 

[WHITE HOUSE BRIEFING EXCHANGE WITH KAREM]

BURNETT: The reporter you just saw there, Brian Karem, is OutFront. He is the executive editor of Sentinel newspapers and a CNN contributor. And Brian, thanks for coming on. 

BRIAN KAREM: Sure. Thanks, Erin.

BURNETT: I mean, look. Looking, at your body language, the way you were talking there, obviously you made it personal, talking about Sanders being a mother to young children. But this was obviously passionate — a passionate moment for you, an emotional moment for you. What — what made you get so personal about it? 

KAREM: Well, two things, really. I covered the border for five years and I've seen the conditions under which people live that force them to flee and come to the United States and risk all. And if you're going to risk everything, you know — a proper answer, actually, for her would have been, you know what we're providing them in a Walmart is better than what they have in their home country and that would have been callous but true. The second thing is she's brought her children and her personal life, into that briefing room on numerous occasions and in fact, as recently as last night, when CBS was reporting that she may be leaving her post soon, said she was at a kindergarten meeting with her children. So it's — it’s a very human question to ask. I mean, do you have empathy for what these people go through? Regardless of policy, what I want to see, what I to ask — what I want to know, is, where do you draw the line? And what — to invoke the Bible? That was another thing that — she invoked the Bible as the law. I got a nice passage from the Bible: “Whatsoever you do unto the least of my brothers, that you do unto me.” But the simple fact of the matter is the separation of church and state, it's abhorrent for someone to use the Bible in that manner.

BURNETT: Yeah.

KAREM: But the fact of the matter is if you've ever seen anyone live in the conditions that force them to flee, to come to the United States, you have to ask the question — it begs the question, and at some point in time you want to know, why don't you spend a week down there, see what these people go through to risk — I'd risk it all. 

BURNETT: So — so, Brian, you know, the reaction to your exchange was obviously everybody saw it. Walter Schaub is former director of the office of government ethics, he said: “Thank you, [Brian Karem] Heroic pushback!!!!!!!!!!!!!” with many exclamation points. “This is what you should look like in that room EVERY DAY.” Fox News anchor Jesse Waters accused you of having an embarrassing meltdown. [KAREM LAUGHS] Now, you — you just made the case now. You said, look, she brings up her children frequently, and she invokes them. So, your choosing to do so was not out of turn but consistent with choices she herself had made. It’s an important point.

KAREM: Exactly. 

BURNETT: What do you say to those who say what you did was inappropriate? 

KAREM: Well, that's their opinion, not mine. I think it's — I'll tell you what I was told the first day I walked into the White House press brief room by Sam Donaldson and my favorite friend, Helen and Helen told me, she says it's important to get the question asked. And she told me, there's no such thing as a bad question, only bad answers. So, Helen Thomas said that. Sam Donaldson said that. I agree with that. In fact, this isn't King Donald Trump. It's President Donald Trump. He's responsible to us and it’s a valid question. Where are we morally as a country? Where are we? And I want to know. As a voter, as a taxpayer, I want to know where the administration sits on this issue and they haven't answered it, and they've put children in cages and that’s quite frightening to me. It stands to many people as an antithesis to what this country stands for. So, it demands an answer. 

BURNETT: Alright. I thank you very much for your time, Brian. 

KAREM: Thank you, Erin, good to see you. 


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