It’s a good job if you can get it — call yourself a journalist but decide in advance that you won’t cover certain people because their political views don’t match your own.
Most major news outlets have been doing this sort of selective editing forever, but they have never come out and admitted it. MSNBC’s Nicole Wallace did just that on Wednesday. Throwing up her hands in exasperation, she announced on air that she would henceforth desist from running video clips of White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.
What set Wallace off was Sanders’s heated exchange with CNN “victim” Jim Acosta, who demanded that Sanders repeat after him that “the press is not the enemy of the people.” Sanders refused to capitulate, and Acosta slunk off, his tail between his legs.
It would probably have been cold comfort for Acosta to know that the president did acknowledge in a tweet that the press is not the enemy of the people since he qualified his answer:
They asked my daughter Ivanka whether or not the media is the enemy of the people. She correctly said no. It is the FAKE NEWS, which is a large percentage of the media, that is the enemy of the people!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 2, 2018
In the video that follows, Wallace plays part of the exchange between Sanders and Acosta, then declares:
We’re not gonna air that anymore, let’s make that the last Sarah Huckabee Sanders clip we ever play. It makes me sweat. This is vile. This is someone who complains about a restaurant that exercises their First Amendment right to kick out someone they think is obliterating democratic norms. Seriously, it made me sweat. [Emphasis added]
It’s hard to see how she plans on keeping the resolution she makes in the highlighted passage. One supposes that as the host of a show titled “Deadline White House,” she will be called upon possibly as early as next week to run footage of a daily White House press briefing presided over by Sanders.
More importantly, how does a “journalist” offended by the notion that the press is the enemy of the people defend a pledge to omit portions of the news that she finds personally disquieting?
As I said at the outset, it’s a good job if you can get it.