Another day of Team Trump trying to kill reporting. This time, reporting bit back.

Speaking from the podium yesterday—whining about “fake news” spewed out by fake media published by fake mannequin reporters to loser readers or whatever—Sarah Raspberry Ned Flanders-Sanders was busily denigrating the White House press corps when Playboy reporter Brian Karem had had enough.

“You’re inflaming everybody right now with those words,” he said with an edge in his voice, clearly frustrated by Sanders’ dismissal of the media. “This administration has done that as well.” She went on to dismiss him completely, without even acknowledging his objection.

Yes, this is about journalism. Yes, this is about Donald Trump’s hate-love relationship with the press. And yes, this is proof that Trump’s minions are so desperate to please Dear Leader that they’ll sacrifice their own dignity to get in his good graces.

These sporadic and manic press briefings are emblematic of a demagogic, dysfunctional administration in full meltdown. Whether it’s Sean Spicer or Saddlebag-Sandwich giving the briefing, we’re now treated to a daily dose of Info Wars: White House edition. From Vox:

Sanders took this as an opportunity to restate her complaints about the mainstream media. She also told reporters to watch a video from ambush artist James O’Keefe, which shows a CNN producer criticizing his own channel’s treatment of the Trump-Russia story.

That’s right. An administration official—from the podium—endorsed a disgraced, lying, scheming “filmmaker” as a model newsgatherer. Give us all a fucking break, Sarah.

This isn’t just about reporting; it’s about our legacy as Americans. How much longer are we going to let this tyrant and his coterie fuck up and disrespect our treasured democracy? Is this what Trump’s MAGA cult followers wanted—chaos and disrespect for our institutions? Is this what the framers intended?

When they say ‘no cameras!’ your immediate response should be ‘roll tape.’ When they demand ‘no audio!’ open your voice memo app and hit record. When they scream ‘fake news,’ push your storytelling further.

The Trump administration’s “death to reporting by 1,000 cuts” started during the campaign—and has flourished with the soulless sycophants he’s surrounded himself with. Spicey, Priebus and now Sanders’ behavior is proof that their mafia crime Don boss is infecting them with the worst kind of Info Wars radicalism.

I’m gonna send Brian a muffin basket for giving voice to our frustrations, and for showing some cojones in speaking up to this group of thugs.

The answer here is not to proceed with normal decorum. Other reporters have done it, as have U.S. Senators. Visiting heads of state have engaged, too. But until we throw out the normal rule book and stand up for journalists’ constitutional right to question authority, this country is gonna crash and burn like the Roman Empire.

I’ve reported on CrankyYank for many months now about how the journalism profession is under attack. That is not hyperbole. It’s under attack from the profit-motive of big corporations who crave ratings; from big name TV anchors obsessed with gaining/maintaining access to politicians; and it’s under attack, most notably, by Donald Trump and the people whose careers will be over once investigations end and people start going to jail.

We cannot rest on laurels at a time like this. Brian Karem’s actions prove that we must treat this witness as hostile all. the. time.

When they say “no cameras!” your immediate response should be “roll tape.” When they demand “no audio!” open your voice memo app and hit record. When they scream “fake news,” you push your storytelling even further.

Make it about them. Make this moment a referendum on terrible governing. They won’t like it, but that’s what they deserve. 🔵

 

That’s a wrap guys. We’ll see you back here next Thursday at 2 p.m. As always, if you like what you read please consider passing it on.


Will Pollocksideways is an Atlanta-based freelance multimedia journalist focusing on pop-culture, politics, journalism & media, retail, real estate, travel, politics, and human interest. 

He is the author of two books (Pizza for Good & Leaving Triscuit), with more on the way. Sign up for the mailing list, follow on TwitterFacebook and Instagram—and check out the book links below.

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