CNN: 'We're Not Complaining' About Press Briefings, 'Just Pointing it Out'

In one of the most ridiculous segments on CNN Wednesday, host Don Lemon claimed that he and other personalities of the organization weren’t complaining about the Trump White House’s press briefings. “But this is just more about pointing out the hypocrisy in all this. Listen, we're not complaining here. We're just pointing it out to you, everyone,” he managed to say with a straight face on CNN Tonight. That assertion came after CNN had spent the first half of the week shouting from the rooftops about how the White House wasn’t allowing video coverage of the daily White House press briefings.

And un-ironically, Lemon’s declaration of intent came after he and his liberal journalist guests spent the first 10 minutes of the show discussing the press briefings. “Yesterday's press briefing was on camera. A good portion of it was to attack the press. And unfairly do it. Is this about the president needing an enemy,” he asked David Chalian.

I mean, it is an attempt to discredit the news media which at times when reporting what is happening could be critical of the Trump administration, of the president, himself, and the facts may not stack up exactly how he likes them,” Chalian tried to explain. Lemon then targeted Trump supporters with a snide comment about their intelligence. “Yeah, but the interesting thing is his supporters will believe it, but most -- most other Americans will not believe it,” he sneered. Well, the joke is on Lemon because a majority of Americans don’t trust the media, and that’s according to Gallup.

And it wasn’t just the current White House that was fine with a lack of televised press briefings. A bipartisan collection of a George W. Bush press secretary (Ari Fleischer) and a Bill Clinton press secretary (Mike McCurry) came out in support of a heavily delayed release of the press conference recording. But CNN’s own press briefing crusader, Senior White House Correspondent Jim Acosta found ridiculous “flaws” in their idea.

What if there's a terrorist attack? What if there's a hurricane? What if there's an earthquake,” Acosta seriously asked. And there's a need for a live briefing here at the White House to talk about what's going on in the country.” He couldn’t wrap his mind around the idea that the White House would be the ones to say when they could broadcast live. “They’re our cameras, Don, as we talked about the other night, our cameras, our lights, it's our briefing room. It's not their briefing room,” he angrily told Lemon.

The fact that Acosta claimed that the White House briefing room belonged to the media proves that their antics were more about them than it was for the public’s interest. Acosta would most likely defend his comment by saying “our briefing room” meant he was speaking for the American people. But it came at the end of a list of things CNN’s financial department has receipts for.

Lemon had, even more, insults to fling at the White House. “Yeah, it's, you 2017. I mean, should we go back to dial-up as well? It's kind of ridiculous. Why don't they just answer the questions,” he spat. He went on to claim that he had seen more combative press briefings before Trump was in office and that Acosta’s open hostility towards the President wasn’t much. “I’m just a big teddy bear, Don. You know that,” Acosta quipped.

And before the panel moved on to talking about Trump’s first 2020 campaign event, Lemon wanted to make sure that the viewers understood their intentions in talking about the press briefings. “Yeah. I want people to see the hypocrisy here,” he said. “But this is just more about pointing out the hypocrisy in all this. Listen, we're not complaining here. We're just pointing it out to you, everyone.” That’s completely laughable especially when they were running chyrons that read "President Trump Making the Media the Enemy?" and "No Live On-Camera Briefing - Again.

Transcript below:

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CNN Tonight
June 28, 2017
10:03:11 PM Eastern

DON LEMON: David, let's talk more about this whole thing with the press. Yesterday's press briefing was on camera. A good portion of it was to attack the press. And unfairly do it. Is this about the president needing an enemy?

DAVID CHALIAN: Yeah, in part, Don, it is. I mean, it is an attempt to discredit the news media which at times when reporting what is happening could be critical of the Trump administration, of the president, himself, and the facts may not stack up exactly how he likes them. So, if he engages in the campaign to discredit the news media, then his supporters will trust much more in his Twitter feed than they will in the facts of the matter being reported by the news. The other piece of this is, of course, to stoke his supporters. I mean, this is -- this is something that he has dipped in the well on many, many times. To take on the press, take on the mainstream media, in a way to get his supporters more wound up and excited to support him. This is a very convenient foil for him.

LEMON: Yeah, but the interesting thing is his supporters will believe it, but most -- most other Americans will not believe it.

(…)

JIM ACOSTA: Hey, Don. Can I bring up a question about this also? I saw this proposal from McCurry and Fleischer earlier today. Here's one of the flaws in that proposal. What if there's a terrorist attack? What if there's a hurricane? What if there's an earthquake? And there's a need for a live briefing here at the White House to talk about what's going on in the country.

You know, those kinds of occasions do arise, as you remember with Ferguson. Can you imagine if we did not have live briefings at the White House during Ferguson, for example? And so the question becomes, does the White House control the switch? Do they get to make it live when they want it to be live? Do they get to switch it off when they don't want it to be live? They’re our cameras, Don, as we talked about the other night, our cameras, our lights, it's our briefing room. It's not their briefing room.

LEMON: Yeah, it's, you 2017. I mean, should we go back to dial-up as well? It's kind of ridiculous. Why don't they just answer the questions? Then that way -- because reporters-- Listen, I've seen more combative interviews, by the way, I haven't forgot about you, Kaitlyn, don't worry about it. I've seen more combative interviews in the past than you, Jim Acosta, during this. I mean, you know, if you look back, if you go back and look at combative interviews in White House briefings, I don't think that you're at the top of the list. This is all –

ACOSTA: I’m just a big teddy bear, Don. You know that.

LEMON: But it’s all a ruse and we know that.

(…)

LEMON: Yeah. I want people to see the hypocrisy here. Listen, reporters, we in media are used to taking the tough questions. Getting criticized. But this is just more about pointing out the hypocrisy in all this. Listen, we're not complaining here. We're just pointing it out to you, everyone.

NB Daily Censorship Conspiracy Theories Labeling CNN CNN Tonight Fake News Video Jim Acosta David Chalian Don Lemon Donald Trump

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