How to become an MSM hero? Publicly confront the Trump administration. At yesterday’s White House briefing, Playboy White House correspondent Brian Karem got into a testy exchange with Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders over CNN’s fake Russia story and the broader issues involved.

Appearing on Morning Joe today, Karem received a hero’s welcome. As he was introduced, someone exclaimed “well done!” and there was even a smattering of applause. At the end of the segment, after Karem pleaded for the media to “stand up” to the Trump admin, Mika Brzezinski concluded, “and stand with you. Brian Karem: amen—to everything you said.”

Note: when Karem said that he found the attitude of the Trump admin toward the press “disheartening,” Mika ominously said “it may be more than disheartening. That’s my gut.” It’s not entirely clear what Mika had in mind, but earlier in the show she referred to the Trump admin as a “dictatorship.”

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: During the White House briefing yesterday, deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders criticized the media for its coverage of the Trump administration and what she called the Trump-Russia hoax. After mentioning a CNN article that was recently retracted, she got into a tense back-and-forth with one White House reporter.

. . .

WILLIE GEIST: And joining us now is the reporter you saw just there who took part in that exchange, executive editor for the Sentinel newspapers, Brian Karem. Brian, thanks so much for being with us this morning [smattering of applause heard off-camera]. Well done!

. . .

BRIAN KAREM: For the government to sit there and undermine essentially what is a very essential checks and balances in the system, it’s disheartening. It’s unnerving. It’s: I can’t take it anymore! It’s nuts!

MIKA: It might even be more than that. It may be more than disheartening. That’s my gut.

KAREM: I agree it’s more than disheartening. What it speaks to is dissolving the independent media. He’s inflaming the very people who got him in office. He’s speaking to his base and he’s trying to undermine the very essence of what we do, and that’s not good for this republic. It’s not good for this country. It’s an anathema, it’s got to be stopped, and we have to stand up to it and more of us have to stand up to it every day. Someone joked with me last night, do you think they’ll pull my press pass? I hope not but I hope others will, you know, stand up and be counted as well.

MIKA: And stand with you. Brian Karem, thank you. Amen—to everything you said.


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