As a former reporter, I don’t mind a bit of rough and tumble between journalists and official press spokespersons.
But CNN’s Anderson Cooper’s mockery of White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham has a snide, condescending tone that deserves notice.
Anderson’s ridicule of Grisham is in the tradition of the mainstream media’s inevitable verbal attacks on conservative women.
Anderson certainly had every right to fire back at Grisham’s accusations of bias at CNN. I’d be inclined to say that Grisham made some valid points–but it’s a free country and Anderson had as much right to speak as the press secretary.
Her remarks were pegged to a release of the latest Project Veritas video, which was on CNN. She was undeniably hard-hitting:
“America needs real journalism. Real journalists don’t have an agenda,” Grisham tweeted. “They gather and present the news in an unbiased manner. They report the facts – and let the citizens decide. But audio of @CNN meetings, captured by @Project_Veritas, expose a very real agenda.”
“CNN President Jeff Zucker personally instructed his network’s producers to cut newsworthy stories in favor of additional anti-Trump coverage,” Grisham continued. “He demanded one anchor ‘just [expletive] nail’ Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway during an interview, a CNN insider says.”
The putative occasion for Anderson’s verbal attack (transcript) on Grisham was her defense of acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney’s presser on the Ukraine controversy. Anderson used a segment of his show called “The Ridiculist” to go after Grisham:
Time now for “The Ridiculist.” And tonight, we commend the bravery of White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham, who finally got a brief furlough from West Wing Witness Protection. Grisham popped her head out this morning to check in with her supervisors over at Fox News. Though, it seems like she saw her shadow and now back under ground for six more weeks of stonewalling.
The rarely seen press secretary who, since taken that job over the summer, has actually yet to hold a formal news briefing appeared on “Fox & Friends.”
By the way, I just want to point out, it’s “Fox & Friends,” it’s got an ampersand. It’s not “Fox & Friends,” you know, Kibbles ‘N Bits or Shake ‘N Bake, that’s what I thought it was, so I checked. You can, you know, take that off your list of great unknowns.
Grisham’s appearance came less 24 hours after acting Chief of Staff Mick “Great Muffet Keeper” Mulvaney’s news conference, which drew huge reviews ranging from not helpful to a confession.
Now, for her part, though, Grisham said that Mulvaney did everything a good accomplice should.
Cooper commented on Grisham’s saying that White House presses had become theatre:
I mean, Grisham, clearly doesn’t get to Broadway enough if she, you know, thinks those press conferences are theater. Maybe on one of these seven days a week, she’s not doing her job, she can catch maybe a (inaudible) Hamilton. Just tell them like Pence sent you, probably get free tickets.
Insider jokes, condecension and nastiness. Haven’t seen anything like this since—oh, yes—the press was going after Grisham’s predecessor, Sarah Huckabee Sanders.