I've seen more than one outlet complain about how White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders humiliated the press before the Thanksgiving holiday. Sanders shared what she was thankful for to start the briefing, and then laid down the expectation that they do the same.
The criticism is that reporters are supposed to ask questions, and spokespeople are supposed to answer them. There shouldn't be pressure to socialize in such a setting as the White House.
John Kirby, writing for CNN, said, "The whole cringe-worthy exercise made me embarrassed for the reporters and angry at Sanders and this White House for their arrogance and condescension."
You know, I'm no fan of this White House, but isn't it on the reporters for participating in this exercise? Sarah Sanders's job is to speak on behalf of the media and control the conversation. The job of the press is to hold them accountable. If they participated in a White House stunt they shouldn't have, it wasn't Sarah Sanders who humiliated the press. It was the press.
Kirby said, "The real effect of the exercise was to underscore the disdain this White House harbors for the press. And the press shouldn't have taken that bait."
There you go, John; that's more like it. By controlling the conversation, Sanders just did her job. Failure to do so on the part of the press is on them.
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