CNN is not happy. Even less so than usual.
A video of CNN reporter Jim Acosta trying to do a live broadcast as a group of President Trump supporters chanted “CNN sucks!” around him during a Trump rally in Tampa Tuesday went viral.
During Monday’s press conference, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was confronted by an angry Daily Mail reporter insisting that the Trump administration denounce the chant.
“Is the White House willing to say right now, in view of what happened with one of our TV colleagues last night, that it is wrong for his most vocal supporters to be menacing toward journalists doing their job in a situation like that or any situation?” David Martosko demanded while shaking his finger at Sanders.
Sanders replied by saying at the president “does not support violence against anyone or anything, and we’ve been very clear every single time we’ve been asked about that.”
And then she went on the offense, saying, “When it comes to the media, the president does think that the media holds a responsibility...we fully support a free press, but there also comes a high level of responsibility that comes with that.”
But she was just getting warmed up.
“The media routinely reports on classified information and government secrets that put lives in danger and risk valuable national security tools. This has happened both in our administration and in past administrations,” she said before giving an example.
“One of the worst cases was the reporting on the U.S. ability to listen to Osama bin Laden’s satellite phone in the late ‘90s,” Sanders explained. “Because of that reporting, he stopped using that phone, and the country lost valuable intelligence.”
And then she kept going.
“Unfortunately, it’s now standard to abandon common-sense ethical practices. This is a two-way street. We certainly support a free press, we certainly condemn violence against anybody, but we also ask that people act responsibly and report accurately and fairly,” she said.
As reporters shouted their objections, Martosko yelled, “Sarah, nobody was being violent last night! They were trying to prevent a broadcaster from getting his broadcast out and yelling that his network sucks. Is that right or wrong?”
“While we certainly support freedom of the press, we also support freedom of speech, and I think those things go hand-in-hand,” Sanders replied, shutting him down.