Tag Archives: Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Press aide goes for the throat against media

Now she’s done it.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the fiery White House press secretary, has now accused journalists and their bosses of “deliberately” reporting false news stories to advance an agenda.

Think of this for a moment. This is the White House’s front person with the media, the person who is supposed to develop a healthy professional relationship with those who report on the goings-on within the White House.

And by “healthy,” I don’t mean necessarily an always-positive relationship. “Healthy” implies that a certain two-way respect between sources and those who report on what they say and do.

The media-White House relationship should be listed in critical condition. At best.

White House at war with media

I am presuming that Sanders is speaking for Donald John Trump when she makes such hideous assertions. What she has done on the president’s behalf is accuse these professional journalists of violating the very tenets they vowed to uphold when they signed on to their craft.

Sanders said the media are “purposefully misleading the American people” by publishing and broadcasting reports that reporters and editors know are false.

I toiled in journalism for nearly four decades. Did I make mistakes while reporting the news? Sure I did. Did I correct them? Yes. Were any of them the result of some intent to advance a political agenda? Never.

I know I am speaking only for myself. I cannot know how others did their job, except that I always have accepted that other mainstream journalists adhered to a pledge that they would report truthfully and fairly.

To hear the White House press secretary assert that White House beat reporters are acting with deceit and dishonor is beyond offensive.

Actually, Mme. Press Secretary, election didn’t settle it

Sarah Huckabee Sanders says the 2016 presidential election decided what voters think about the accusations by women against Donald Trump.

Let me ponder that for a moment. Umm, actually it didn’t settle it. Or perhaps it did in a way that Sanders didn’t intend.

Several women have accused the president of behaving badly toward them; they have alleged incidents of groping, unwanted kissing and assorted tomfoolery they didn’t seek or want.

This is news today because of the sexual abuse allegations that have brought the downfall of Hollywood moguls, actors and politicians. Trump remains untouched. Some senators have called on Trump to resign, just as three members of Congress have done. Other critics are suggesting an ethics investigation is in order.

Oh, what did the election settle? Sanders said Trump’s Electoral College victory meant the issue is gone.

Nope. It isn’t.

Let’s see. How did Trump do in the popular vote? He received 62,985,134 votes. Oh, and how many votes went to Hillary Rodham Clinton? 65,853,652.

That’s a difference of 2,850,518 votes … in Hillary’s favor.

Thus, I do believe Sarah Sanders is mistaken if she thinks the election settled anything.

This is meant as a defense of POTUS?

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders no doubt intended to mount a stout defense of the president of the United States.

It somehow seemed to fall a bit flat, sounded a bit hollow.

Sanders was asked about the accusation that Democratic U.S. Sen. Al Franken groped and kissed a TV news anchor when the two of them were on a USO tour in 2006. Franken — who hadn’t yet joined the Senate — has acknowledged doing it and has apologized for his actions.

What about the myriad accusations that have been leveled against Donald J. Trump? Sanders said they differ from what Franken has confronted.

According to the Huffington Post:

“I think that this was covered pretty extensively during the campaign,” Sanders said. “We addressed that then. The American people, I think, spoke very loud and clear when they elected this president.”

“How is this different?” the reporter asked.

“I think in one case specifically, Sen. Franken has admitted wrongdoing, and the president hasn’t,” Sanders replied. “I think that’s a very clear distinction.” 

Yep. There you have it. The president hasn’t admitted to anything … as if he ever admits to doing a single wrong thing.

To be fair, none of the allegations against Trump has been proved — although he was recorded on a 2005 audio recording all but acknowledging that he could grab women by their “p****” if he felt like it.

Get over the media criticism, will ya White House?

Donald J. Trump’s White House press operation has developed as thin a skin as the boss.

Someone on the media pops off stupidly and the White House gets all over this reporter’s case. Then it launches a dual-front campaign accusing a cable network of practicing a double standard: one for conservative commentators and another one for liberals.

Get over it, White House!

ESPN talking head Jemele Hill popped off the other day about the president, calling him a white supremacist who surrounds himself with other white supremacists. I’ll just state here that Hill’s comments were stupid and had no place coming from someone who has made a name for herself commenting on matters that have nothing to do with the president of the United States and his alleged political tendencies.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is ratcheting up the White House attacks on ESPN. C’mon, young lady. Don’t you know about that First Amendment thing in the U.S. Constitution, the one that protects the media from government pressure? Sanders has said ESPN should have fired Hill. She made the statement while conducting a White House press briefing; her suggestion, thus, becomes something of a government policy statement relating to the conduct of a “free press.”

The president himself takes great joy — or so it seems — in blasting what he keeps calling “fake news” outlets. He calls the media “the enemy of the American people.” He singles out individual reporters at press events, criticizing their character and their organization’s integrity.

Now his press flack has joined that chorus.

I agree that Jemele Hill shouldn’t have said what she said, using her standing as an ESPN talking head to make her point. She has apologized. ESPN said it won’t punish her any further.

The president has much bigger fish to fry than this. I can think of, oh, North Korea, DACA legislation, tax reform … you know, those sorts of things. Media criticism? Set it aside and let other media — and even some bloggers out here in the heartland — take the talking head offenders to task.

You go, Professor Painter!

Richard Painter is emerging as one of my favorite pundits seen regularly when questions arise about the Trump administration.

Painter served as ethics lawyer/watchdog for President George W. Bush. Thus, he — more than likely — is a loyal Republican. He also is no fan of Donald John Trump Sr., which likely is why I appreciate his commentary so much.

Painter now teaches law at the University of Minnesota.

He recently commented on a statement from Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway, who suggested that the administration might administer lie-detector tests to aides in the hunt to determine who’s leaking information to the media.

Painter’s response via Twitter? “Kellyanne wants lie detectors in the White House? Try one on the press secretary podium. The place will light up like a disco!”

Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has pledged never to lie from the White House press podium. I would like very much to give her the benefit of the doubt.

However, maybe Sanders ought to follow Professor Painter’s suggestion: hook up to the polygraph machine — just to be sure.

‘Like any father … ‘

Sarah Huckabee Sanders needs to get a grip on this indisputable fact: The man she serves as White House press secretary is not your ordinary, run-of-the-mill parent who loves his children.

Donald John Trump is the president of the United States. So, when the press aide says the president was helping his son with public remarks to the public about a controversial meeting “like any father would,” she sets aside the fact that Trump is not like “any father.”

Sure, the president is still a father and a grandfather.

Sanders’s comment deals with questions into whether the president helped his son, Donald Trump Jr., craft a misleading statement about the nature of his meeting with a Russian lawyer who invited Don Jr. to meet with her because — allegedly — she had some dirt on Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Trump’s role as a parent in this context has been eclipsed — for better and/or worse — by his role as president of the United States, the head of state of the greatest nation on Earth.

He ain’t just “any father.”

A joke, Mr. President? Why not apologize?

Sarah Huckabee Sanders has inherited the least desirable job in America: White House press secretary.

She is assigned to defend statements that pour out of the mouth of the president of the United States, who recently told law enforcement officials that they need not concern themselves with treating criminal suspects with respect.

It’s OK to rough up those who are arrested, Donald John Trump Sr. said.

Sanders’ answer to that? The president was making a joke, she said.

Wow! I missed that one. I didn’t see it as a joke. I was offended. So were top cops across the land. So were politicians in both parties.

This, therefore, begs the question: Why not apologize for a misconstrued joke, Mr. President?

I get that Trump isn’t inclined to apologize for anything. He hasn’t said he’s sorry for a single thing he has said since becoming a politician in June 2015. The insults? The mocking of disabled individuals? The defamation of political opponents? The furthering of “fake news” involving President Barack Obama’s place of birth? Nothing, man.

Pols apologize all the time for jokes that fall flat. Heck, I’d even settle for one of those phony “If I offended anyone … “ non-apologies we hear on occasion. Yes, even one of those would be welcome if it were to come from the lips of the Non-Apologist in Chief.

Was he joking, or not? The president’s silence on this matter of police conduct suggests — to me — that he meant what he said.

Oh, that POTUS, what a card

Newly minted White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders sought to tamp down criticism of Donald Trump’s call for cops to rough up suspects.

The president was “making a joke,” Sanders said.

Oh, now I get it. Why didn’t I realize it in the moment when the president told cops in Long Island, N.Y., that they shouldn’t have to presume that criminal suspects are innocent until a court proves them guilty?

I know why it didn’t dawn on me — or on police chiefs across the nation. It’s because no one took it as a joke. They took it as a statement of principle from Trump. They issued statements individually and collectively that police shouldn’t rough up criminal suspects; they also condemned the president’s statements on the subject.

They are sensitive to police relations with the communities they serve, owing to repeated incidents of police-involved shootings in connection with the deaths of African-Americans.

But, hey! He was joking, said press secretary Sanders.

“I believe he was making a joke at the time,” Sanders said during today’s White House press briefing.

Actually, the president did make a reasonable call for the end to the notorious gang MS-13, in his remarks to police in Suffolk County, N.Y. Then he twisted off into this rough-’em-up rhetoric.

“When you see these towns and when you see these thugs being thrown into the paddy wagon, you just see them thrown in. Rough, I said. Please don’t be too nice,” Trump said. “Like when you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you know? The way you put their hand over. Like, don’t hit their head, and they’ve just killed somebody? Don’t hit their head? I said, ‘You can take the hand away, OK?’”

Nice try, Sarah Sanders. You might “believe” the president was joking. Many of the rest of us — including the men and women who lead local police agencies — don’t see it that way.