Perhaps in response to the grumbling whines of the mainstream media about being passed over for questions during recent White House briefings, President Donald Trump held a surprise news conference Thursday, ostensibly to introduce his new nominee for labor secretary, Alexander Acosta, but also to rip into the biased media.
While Trump repeatedly said the majority of the media was extremely dishonest in their reporting and doing a disservice to the American people, he reserved most of his ire with the media for his favorite target for criticism, CNN.
According to the Washington Examiner, Trump at one point engaged in a back-and-forth with CNN reporter Jim Acosta, who began his series of questions by politely assuring Trump that neither he nor his network really hated the president, eventually transitioning to Trump’s repeated attacks on the network for being “fake news.”
“I’m changing it from fake news,” Trump replied, pausing for a moment before adding with a grin, “Very fake news.”
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) February 16, 2017
The entire room of reporters and staffers burst into laughter, including Acosta himself, who attempted to save face by retorting, “Real news, Mr. President, real news,” according to Breitbart.
Two individuals who seemed to laugh exceptionally hard at Trump’s downgrading of CNN from “fake” to “very fake” were White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and press secretary Sean Spicer, both of whom have had their share of run-ins with CNN’s overwhelmingly biased coverage of the administration.
Look at Spicer and Kellyanne when Trump tells CNN that they are not just ‘Fake News’ they are ‘Very Fake News’ pic.twitter.com/V4g2uRKBDm
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) February 16, 2017
At another point in the part-rally speech, part stand-up comedy routine, part news conference, Trump lectured the media, CNN specifically, for their hateful “tone” and rhetoric, particularly coming from anchor Don Lemon’s program. (Though he did not mention Lemon by name, referring only to his time slot.)
Trump went on to remind the reporters that the American public was increasingly losing faith in them, even trusting them less than Congress, which also drew hearty laughs from most in the room.
Despite the laughter, most in the media could not have enjoyed Trump’s dressing-down, but they have only themselves to blame.
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