Jim Acosta is no stranger to making waves at White House press briefings, but given the current circumstances the latest dust-up was one for the record books.
Still sore after being heckled at a Tampa Trump rally, the CNN correspondent demanded that Press Secretary Sarah Sanders denounce the anti-media rhetoric and declare that the press is not the “enemy of the people.” Instead, of taking Acosta up on the chance to “make things right,” Sanders fired back with a list of personal attacks she’s had to endure since working for the Trump administration.
“I think it would be a good thing if you were to state right here at this briefing that the press, the people who are gathered in this room right now, doing their jobs every day, asking questions of officials like the ones you brought forward earlier are not the enemy of the people. I think we deserve that,” Acosta stated after citing a remark by first daughter Ivanka Trump.
After some quick back and forth, Sanders finally had enough. The press secretary showed that she was prepared, to say the least, and rattled off a disturbing list of offenses she’s had to endure thanks in part to a heavily biased media.
“It’s ironic, Jim, that not only you and the media attack the President for his rhetoric when they frequently lower the level of conversation in this country. Repeatedly, repeatedly the media resorts to personal attacks without any content other than to incite anger.
“The media has attacked me personally on a number of occasions, including your own network. They said I should be harassed as a life sentence, that I should be choked. ICE officials are not welcome in their place of worship and their personal information is shared on the Internet. When I was hosted by the Correspondents’ Association, of which almost all of you are members of, you brought a comedian up to attack my appearance and call me a traitor to my own gender.
“As far as I know, I’m the first press secretary in the history of the United States that’s required Secret Service protection. The media continues to ratchet up the verbal assault against the President and everyone in this administration and certainly we have a role to play but the media has a role to play for the discourse in this country as well.”