Reporter who challenged the deputy press secretary says the Trump administration is “bullying” reporters
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From the June 28 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe:
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WILLIE GEIST: Brian I actually heard you on "Hardball" last night saying something I think we all suspected to be true, which was that this was a long time coming. This has been something we've been watching and covering this administration for six months now and watching how it treated the press and the relationship there. Just elaborate a little bit more about what you wanted to say yesterday if you had even more time.
BRIAN KAREM: Well, the big thing is, it's very disingenuous for the White House to do what they did, first of all, that was the first, first on camera briefing in what, more than a week, and she took the opportunity first thing off the bat to go after the media. She was trying to go after CNN specifically, and the media in general. We've been called the enemy of the people from that White House, we've been told we are fake news, we are bullied and browbeaten every day and I pretty much have had enough of it. I mean, there's really only two ways to deal with a bully, you can either turn them into your friend, I don't think that's a possibility, or you can let them know exactly what's up and that you're not going to take the bullying anymore. We can't take the bullying anymore. It's undermining the fourth estate, it's undermining the First Amendment. The reporters I know in that room, even Breitbart those people are responsible. And for the government to sit there and undermine essentially what is a very essential checks and balances in the system, it's disheartening. It's unnerving. I can't take it anymore. It's nuts.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: It might be more than that. It may be more than disheartening. That's my gut. Mike Barnicle?
KAREM: I agree it's more than disheartening. What it speaks to is dissolving the independent media, and that's what it's trying to co-opt the media, make us, if we don't print what they want or broadcast what they like then we're automatically fake media. What was funny about it was, Sarah sat there yesterday and asked to us look at a video and she wasn't even sure the video was vetted and was factual, but if factual, oh man, it was bad. So you're promoting in essence false media, and accusing the rest of us of being false media.
MIKE BARNICLE: So Brian, my belief is that this is a pre-meditated strategy of the White House. This is not something off the cuff. This is not something that comes up with an occasional piece that they deem to be offensively wrong to them, to their point of view, whatever. This is a pre-meditated anti-journalism strategy that I fear has taken some hold in this country. Do you buy into that?
KAREM: I agree with you.
KAREM: I agree with you 100%. It's one of the few strategies I've seen from this White House, and it has been ongoing, and look, I don't lump everybody in with that. They've done some things that are incredibly open, adding Skype to their press briefings, bringing in members of the cabinet for briefings, but at the same time when the President of the United States, even this morning, is tweeting out "fake media" and telling us we're the enemy of the people, he's enflaming the very people who got him in office. He's speaking to his base and he's trying to undermine the very essence of what we do, and that's not good for this republic. It's not good for this country. It's anathema, it’s got to be stopped, and we have to stand up to it. And more of us have to stand up to it every day. Someone joked with me last night, do you think they'll pull my press pass? I hope not but I hope others will, you know, stand up and be counted as well.