Sarah Sanders is taking about as much guff from CNN as President Donald Trump did.
While Trump has a talent for saying things that get under the press’s skin and pokes at their narcissism, the White House Press Secretary’s delivery in her messaging is so matter-of-fact and steady that it hits its target like a freight train.
Upon learning of CNN’s lawsuit against the White House on behalf of its now-banned White House correspondent Jim Acosta who had his press pass revoked for his behavior last week, Sanders issued a harsh statement that further slapped Acosta and CNN for their childish behavior, indicating first that the lawsuit is just more “grandstanding from CNN.”
“We will vigorously defend against this lawsuit,” she wrote. “The First Amendment is not served when a single reporter, of more than 150 present, attempts to monopolize the floor.”
Sanders then cut Acosta by what seems to be her pointing out his ego driven actions.
“Mr. Acosta is no more or less special than any other media outlet or reporter with the respect to the First Amendment,” wrote Sanders.
“After Mr. Acosta asked the President two questions — each of which the President answered — he physically refused to surrender a White House microphone to an intern so that other reporters might ask their questions. This was not the first time this reporter has inappropriately refused to yield to other reporters,” the statement continued.
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) November 13, 2018
What Sanders seems to be saying here is that CNN and Acosta appear to believe that they deserve to be heard and seen more than other reporters of news outlets and that while the First Amendment is definitely to be respected, Acosta seemed to be the only one in the room not willing to respect the speaking rights of others by hogging the microphone, to the point of force, for himself.
Acosta fits this description well and, as I’ve said many times in the past, acts more like an activist than a reporter. To be the story seems to be his goal, not to tell the story, and this is demonstrated by how often Acosta asks inappropriate questions at inappropriate times, and they’re often loaded questions to boot.
This is seemingly the result of Acosta’s ego, and Sanders isn’t the only one who recognizes it. Jon Stewart, while speaking on the press in general, noticed that Trump is so good at getting under the skin of the media covering him because they possess more narcissism than they do professionalism.
“But I think the journalists have taken it personally,” Stewart said during an interview with CNN of all places. “They’re personally offended and wounded by [Trump]. He baits them and they dive in — and what he’s done well I thought was to appeal to their own narcissism, to their own ego.”
Stewart isn’t the only one who sees this as well. Veteran reporter Bob Woodward, famous for covering the Watergate scandal, noted that CNN’s lawsuit isn’t going to help CNN, or the press, win the fight against Trump. It’s leaving emotions at home and focusing on what Trump is doing that will win the day.
“In the news media there has been an emotional reaction to Trump,” Woodward noted, adding “Too many people for Trump or against Trump have become emotionally unhinged about this.”
“The remedy [isn’t a lawsuit],” said Woodward. “It’s more serious reporting about what he’s doing.”