Brian Karem Apologizes for Not Being More Combative With the White House

On Thursday, CNN analyst and Playboy reporter, Brian Karem had an absolute meltdown during the White House press briefing where he screamed at Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders about the administration’s immigration policies. The rage-fueled outburst was lauded by some and condemned by many, but during an appearance on CNN’s Reliable Sources on Sunday, host Brian Stelter pushed back and asked Karem if he wanted to apologize. Of course, the Karem refused and dug in his heels.

The first time Karem was invited onto CNN to discuss what happened, host Erin Burnett sat back and let Karem defend his tantrum. But on Sunday’s appearance, Stelter provided a stiffer rebuttal to the behavior. “Well Brian, this brings us to your outburst at Thursday's briefing. I don’t know if you’d call it an outburst but I would,” Stelter said. “What outburst was that,” Karem sarcastically responded with a slight laugh and a raised eyebrow.

Do you regret losing your cool, Brian,” Stelter asked after playing a clip of the heated exchange. Karem had an apology, but it wasn’t too Sanders. It was for not being more antagonistic toward Trump administration on Thursday and in the past:

I have an apology to make. I apologize to every human being who has had to suffer, who have less -- who has less than I do. And I did not come to the table sooner. I'm sorry to those people for waiting so long and holding my temper. I am sorry that I am extremely angry with this administration that has lied to me, continues to lie to me. I'm sorry as a reporter that for so long I thought that the idea was to -- I was struggling so hard to do my job, I forgot my job is to comfort the afflicted, afflict the comfortable and ask questions for those who have no voice.

 

 

Before Karem could go any further, Stelter explained to him that his actions reflected poorly on the entire media. “But you came across as a caricature for many of the people that are watching who feel journalists are trying to make it about themselves, trying to get on TV more often, trying to get more attention,” Stelter said.

Karem wrote off that sentiment as just something being pushed by the White House and suggested it wasn’t a “legitimate” criticism. He also defended how he dragged Sanders’ family and kids into the immigration debate by pointing to how the White House treated the press:

For fact, it was Sarah Huckabee Sanders who brought her family into that press room. She has beat us over the head with it. We have been berated, we’ve been lied to, we’ve been called the enemy of the people, we’ve been insulted. We have been told we have less credibility than the president of the United States. We have been lectured at.

That office used to be an office of information. It is now an office of disinformation. It's an office of propaganda and I think we should push back harder,” Karem bitterly declared.

A short time later, Karem insisted that he ask Sanders “a very simple and actually softball question” she refused to answer. “But she was reacting to you interrupting her. I think that's why she refused to answer your question,” Stelter argued.

There have been many people who interrupted her in that pressroom,” Karem pouted. “[I]ncluding Jim Acosta, April Ryan, Jonathan Karl. Those questions she doesn't like to answer because they put her in a position of having to answer honestly, and that's something that this administration is not prepared to do.”

Even if Karem refuses to acknowledge it, those people all get ridiculed by the public for their outbursts too.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

 

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CNN
Reliable Sources
June 17, 2018
11:07:16 AM Eastern [2 minutes 17 seconds]

(…)

BRIAN KAREM: It boils down to basic humanity. What do we stand for as a nation?

BRIAN STELTER: Well Brian, this brings us to your outburst at Thursday's briefing. I don’t know if you’d call it an outburst but I would.

KAREM: What outburst was that? [Laughter]

STELTER: Here’s part of what happened there:

KAREM: Come on, Sarah! You’re a parent! Don’t you have any empathy for what these people are going through?

E SANDERS: Jill. Brian! Guys, settle down!

KAREM: Seriously! Seriously!

SANDERS: I’m trying to be serious, but I’m not going to have you yell out of turn.

[Live]

STELTER: Do you regret losing your cool, Brian?

KAREM: I have an apology to make. I apologize to every human being who has had to suffer, who have less -- who has less than I do. And I did not come to the table sooner. I'm sorry to those people for waiting so long and holding my temper. I am sorry that I am extremely angry with this administration that has lied to me, continues to lie to me. I'm sorry as a reporter that for so long I thought that the idea was to -- I was struggling so hard to do my job, I forgot my job is to comfort the afflicted, afflict the comfortable and ask questions for those who have no voice.

STELTER: I respect what you’re saying. I respect what you’re saying. But you came across as a caricature for many of the people that are watching who feel journalists are trying to make it about themselves, trying to get on TV more often, trying to get more attention.

KAREM: That's the pushback from the administration, of course. And as I said to Sarah, it's not about that.

STELTER: You don't think that's legitimate at all?

KAREM: No, I don't. That is not legitimate. At some point in time, we’ve been playing by the old rules for so long that we forgot where we are with this administration. For fact, it was Sarah Huckabee Sanders who brought her family into that press room. She has beat us over the head with it. We have been berated, we’ve been lied to, we’ve been called the enemy of the people, we’ve been insulted. We have been told we have less credibility than the president of the United States. We have been lectured at.

That office used to be an office of information. It is now an office of disinformation. It's an office of propaganda and I think we should push back harder. I have heard from numerous people. I think the vast majority of Americans are as inflamed by this issue than any other that has come down the pike. And it is a basic question of humanity. It must be addressed.

(…)

11:10:28 AM [35 seconds]

KAREM: And look, Brian, that was a very simple and actually softball question: Do you have any empathy for what these people are going through?

STELTER: Right. She could have said, “Yes, I do. My heart goes out to them.” But she was reacting to you interrupting her. I think that's why she refused to answer your question.

KAREM: Well, I think she refuses to answer any question she feels uncomfortable with. There have been many people who interrupted her in that pressroom, including Jim Acosta, April Ryan, Jonathan Karl. Those questions she doesn't like to answer because they put her in a position of having to answer honestly, and that's something that this administration is not prepared to do.

(…)


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NBDaily Immigration Media Bias Debate Cable Television CNN Reliable Sources Video Brian Stelter Brian Karem Sarah Huckabee Sanders