The war of words over accountability and accuracy in the media’s reporting in the Age of Trump took an explosive turn on Monday afternoon when CNN’s Jim Acosta and Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders clashed over a recent error in CNN’s reporting on the Trump-Russia scandal.
The usually composed and stoic Sanders lost her temper with Acosta after he said that “journalists make honest mistakes and that doesn’t make them fake news.”
Over the weekend, CNN reported that Donald Trump Jr. had received an email on December 4th, 2016, which contained an encryption key to access documents from Wikileaks, a week before the documents were released publicly. It turns out that CNN had made a minor error in its reporting and the email was actually sent on the 16th.
“When journalists make honest mistakes, they should own up to them,” said Sanders. When Acosta protested, Sanders lost it.
“Sometimes. And a lot of times you don’t – I’m not finished! There is a very big difference between making an honest mistake and purposefully misleading the American people, something that happens regularly.”
“I’m not done. You cannot say that it’s an honest mistake when you are purposefully putting out information that you know to be false. Or when you are taking information that hasn’t been validated, that hasn’t been offered any credibility, that has been continually denied by a number of people.”
However, when she was challenged by Acosta to name a “specific story that you say is intentionally false, that was intentionally put out there to mislead the American people,” all Sanders could do was point to a recent ABC News report that misrepresented the details of the Gen. Flynn guilty plea deal but was corrected with time.
The irony, of course, is that President Trump shamelessly and frequently offers up “facts” that “haven’t been validated, that hasn’t been offered any credibility, that has been continually denied by a number of people.”
Trump and his fellow Republicans have weaponized the intense tribalism of the modern American political landscape as part of a war on facts and the truth, painting the mainstream media as biased and unfair as a way to deflect from their many heinous misdeeds and diabolical agenda of class warfare.
Watch the fireworks here: