It’s finally happened.
After over two weeks of conservatives covering of the assault story involving April Ryan’s bodyguard manhandling another journalist, a media critic from a national news outlet has finally stepped up to the plate to call Ryan and CNN out on their strange silence on the issue.
Let’s start with some background before we get into what Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple wrote about Ryan and CNN on Thursday.
I did a full recap earlier this week about what New Brunswick Today journalist Charlie Kratovil alleged happened to him at an August 3rd event in New Jersey where Ryan was scheduled to be the keynote speaker. Included in that piece were two videos that largely back up Kratovil’s claims that he was harassed, his camera equipment was stolen, and that he was assaulted. Please make sure to watch them if you haven’t already.
A criminal summons was issued for Ryan’s bodyguard Joel Morris on Monday. Kratovil also hinted that he was exploring legal action against Ryan, too, because she’s seen on video giving her bodyguard the okay to throw him out.
Through all of this, April Ryan herself has been eerily quiet. To date, there is not a single comment from her on her Twitter feed about this story. And she hasn’t been asked about it in her recent appearances on CNN at all.
Keep in mind that this is a woman who has gained a favorable reputation in the White House press corps for how she “sticks it to the Trump administration” (to paraphrase). Similar to Jim Acosta, Ryan has had a highly adversarial relationship with the White House and President Trump (she’s even written a book about it).
Ryan’s stock answer when she’s asked about her encounters with WH press secretaries and Trump is to say she’s simply doing her job.
To see an example of this answer and how she’s treated with kid gloves by her media colleagues, watch how New Day host Alisyn Camerota tees up a softball question for Ryan on a testy interaction she had with former White House Press. Sec. Sean Spicer in 2017:
“I’m a reporter just trying to get answers.” Too bad she didn’t show the same journalistic respect to Kratovil, who was merely videotaping the speech she was giving.
The Washington Post’s Eric Wemple roasted Ryan and CNN over this issue yesterday:
Though Ryan is happy to light up CNN’s airwaves with outrage over the Trump administration’s heavy-handed actions vis-a-vis press access, what does she have to say when her own actions are in the mix? The Erik Wemple Blog emailed her with a request for an interview. She called and requested to speak off the record. No thanks, we replied. Nothing that occurs at the fourth annual New Jersey Parent Summit is so secret, so sensitive as to warrant an off-the-record conversation.
CNN’s PR folks didn’t bother returning email inquiries about the matter. Here are the questions we asked: “Given CNN’s various fights for journalistic access and respect during the Trump administration, what does it have to say about this incident? Does it take issue with any of the facts alleged? Ryan appears to say in her address that she didn’t want media types in the audience. How does that square with CNN values?”
The strategy here is to ignore the situation in the hopes that it will blow over. Such an outcome shouldn’t be furnished to CNN and Ryan, given the level of professional hypocrisy at hand.
Speak now or relinquish your standing as First Amendment champions.
Neither CNN nor Ryan have ever been anywhere close to actual “First Amendment champions” in any way, shape, or form, but Wemple is 100% right that CNN’s PR division and Ryan should have already publicly commented on and condemned this incident by now.
Had it been a Fox News contributor, CNN would have been the very first to take off after the contributor and their bodyguard. Their double standards here are appalling but not surprising.
The only person Wemple left out of his piece was Brian Stelter. Perhaps he’ll get in touch with him after CNN’s media firefighter climbs down from his Sarah Sanders/Sean Spicer outrage machine.
— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –