MSNBC: Reporter ‘Justified’ In Screaming at White House Press Secretary

During MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports on Friday, Mitchell and her liberal guests all agreed that Playboy’s Brian Karem was completely “justified” in attempting to shout down and scold White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders during Thursday’s chaotic press briefing. The panel of media pundits even lamented that there weren’t more reporters as unhinged as Karem in the White House press corps.

The discussion began with Mitchell playing a clip of Karem’s tirade, in which he questioned Sanders’s role as a mother and accused the administration of “throw[ing] children in cages” by placing illegal immigrant children in detention centers along the U.S. southern border. Left-wing Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart voiced his approval, though he mistakenly referred to Brian Karem as “Bob Karem”: “What is happening justified Bob Karem’s [sic] shouting at Sarah Sanders yesterday.”

 

 

He praised the reporter for drowning out his colleagues and demanding that Sanders “answer the question about whether this is the right thing to do. Answer the question about, what does this mean? Not only for her as a mother, but who we are as a country.”

Capehart actually took the rest of the press to task for not doing the same: “It’s mind boggling to me that more reporters in that briefing room and more Americans, and particularly the members on the Hill, are not demanding answers to this same question.” Mitchell chimed in and admonished the press corps for not forcing Sanders to respond to Karem’s ranting: “Well, I was struck by the fact that there should have been silence in that briefing room until the question was answered or the briefing was over.”

The Post’s Deputy Editorial Page Editor Ruth Marcus fretted that Sanders “does a kind of effective job in controlling that room, moving on, cutting people off, not giving them follow ups.” The hand-wringing continued as she called for reporters to back each other up in attacking the White House: “And there’s not a lot of solidarity that I often see among members of the press corps in saying, ‘Hey, you didn’t answer her question and we’re going to keep asking this question until you answer it.’”

Here is a transcript of the June 15 exchange:

12:32 PM ET

(...)

ANDREA MITCHELL: Joining me now is Jonathan Capeheart from The Washington Post and Ruth Marcus, Deputy Editorial Page Editor from The Washington Post. So here we’re talking about children being separated at the border. The Attorney General blaming it on – or justifying it by blaming it on the Bible. We’re talking about Bible study here. Sarah Sanders being challenged by that in the briefing. In fact, we have that. Let’s play a bit of Sarah Sanders at yesterday’s briefing.

[CLIP OF KAREM SCREAMING AT SANDERS]

RUTH MARCUS: Well.

MITCHELL: That was the White House briefing. And the fact that both Sarah Sanders and the attorney general are referring to biblical verses that were used, Jonathan, 150 years ago to justify slavery.

JONATHAN CAPEHART: You took the words right out of my mouth. Any time anyone – or in particular a politician or elected officials or appointed officials – use the Bible to justify something that is morally reprehensible, I can’t take them seriously. What is happening justified Bob Karem’s [sic] shouting at Sarah Sanders yesterday. That’s the reporter who was asking Sarah Sanders, the press secretary for the President of the United States, to answer the question about whether this is the right thing to do. Answer the question about, what does this mean? Not only for her as a mother, but who we are as a country. It’s mind boggling to me that more reporters in that briefing room and more Americans, and particularly the members on the Hill, are not demanding answers to this same question.

MITCHELL: Well, I was struck by the fact that there should have been silence in that briefing room until the question was answered or the briefing was over.

MARCUS: It’s interesting. You and I have spent some time in that briefing room and I am struck sometimes by – because Sarah Sanders does a kind of effective job in controlling that room, moving on, cutting people off, not giving them follow ups, saying that time is tight. And there’s not a lot of solidarity that I often see among members of the press corps in saying, “Hey, you didn’t answer her question and we’re going to keep asking this question until you answer it.”

(...)


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CyberAlerts Immigration Conservatives & Republicans MSNBC Andrea Mitchell Reports Video Brian Karem Andrea Mitchell Jonathan Capehart Ruth Marcus Sarah Huckabee Sanders