Brian Karem took a bold stand in the name of freedom of the press.
Things got heated during today’s White House press briefing over a familiar topic: fake news.
After Breitbart’s Charlie Spiering asked a question about CNN’s decision to retract and apologize for a controversial story about connections between one of President Donald Trump’s allies and Russia, Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tore into media outlets for running what she called “fake news directed at this president.”
The goal was clear: to sow distrust in reporting that made the administration look bad. It’s been done time and time again.
White House reporter Brian Karem was tired of the unending assault and decided to speak up.
“Any one of us are replaceable, and any one of us, if we don’t get it right, the audience has the opportunity to turn the channel or not read us,” said Karem, emphasizing journalists are just trying to do their jobs. They want to be able to ask questions, get answers, and report the truth.
By all accounts, CNN did the right thing about the story in question. They made a mistake and did what they could to fix it.
The story, which ran on CNN’s website, alleged that Congress was investigating connections between Trump ally Anthony Scaramucci and a Russian investment fund. Shortly after the article was published, the outlet pulled it down, issuing a statement saying the story didn’t live up to their editorial standards. Three journalists involved with the story resigned, and Scaramucci accepted CNN’s apology. This is how things are supposed to work when a mistake is made.
Which is why Karem — who isn’t involved with CNN, but was simply tired of reputable news outlets being called “fake news” — decided to speak up. And it’s a good thing he did.
So, when we are wrong we correct ourselves but when has POTUS ever done that? We are not FAKE news.
— Brian J. Karem (@BrianKarem) June 27, 2017
Making a mistake, owning up to it, and facing the consequences isn’t “fake news.” It’s time Trump learns this lesson.
This morning, the president sent out a series of tweets calling CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, The New York Times, and The Washington Post “fake news.”
Fact check: They’re not.
Fake News CNN is looking at big management changes now that they got caught falsely pushing their phony Russian stories. Ratings way down!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 27, 2017
Interestingly enough, just a few hours later, Pulitzer-winning Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold wrote that Trump had some very literal “fake news” hanging up at a number of his own properties: a phony Time magazine cover. The irony here shouldn’t be lost on anyone.
It might seem comical our president is so out of touch with reality that he and his administration declare anything he doesn’t like to be “fake news,” but it’s not. It’s dangerous.
“If the media can’t be trusted to report the news, that’s a dangerous place for America,” said Huckabee Sanders during the briefing.
She’s right. That’s why more people like Karem must push back against an administration dead set on suppressing free speech. While he wasn’t the one being called “fake news” today, there’s no telling what tomorrow will bring.
Watch the entire, powerful exchange below: