It depends … CNN media critic/cheerleader Brian Stelter consistently harps about Donald Trump calling the press the enemy. He says it is outside the realm of normal behavior for a president. Except it’s not. In October 2009, Stelter – then doing his shtick for the New York Times – reported on how the Obama administration called Fox News its opponent. That’s a pretty selective memory by Stelter.
That’s not the only time the Obama administration did something that the Trump administration is now also doing.
Over the weekend, after Jim Acosta spoke out of turn at a joint press conference with Theresa May, Stelter and the rest of the media were apoplectic when Trump refused Acosta’s question and called CNN “fake news.” Some even stated that Fox News’ John Roberts should have stood up for CNN in response to Trump calling CNN fake news.
The Clarion Project’s Alex VanNess tweeted out screenshots of a Brian Stelter tweet about the Acosta situation and what he wrote about the Daily Caller’s Neil Munro when the latter shouted a question at the president. In a piece titled “Reporter interrupts Obama during statement on immigration,” Stelter wrote:
By shouting out and repeatedly interrupting the president during a speech, Mr. Munro violated decorum at the White House and generated online shouts of disapproval from other reporters, analysts and historians. The incident took place two weeks after the president’s top strategist, David Axelrod, was nearly drowned out at a campaign event by hecklers who had come to support Mitt Romney.
That’s quite the change of view. Oh, and check this follow-up paragraph from Stelter.
The White House press office did not immediately comment on the exchange. But it quickly became evident that Mr. Munro had distracted from the president’s point by becoming part of the story himself.
You mean like Acosta?
Then of course there’s the hand-wringing over the White House canceling an appearance by John Bolton on CNN this weekend. Press secretary Sarah Sanders said that the decision was in direct response to Acosta’s antics. Well, here’s Stelter from the flashback machine to tell us how the Obama administration did the same sort of thing:
The White House has limited administration members’ appearances on the [Fox News] network in recent weeks. In mid-September, when the White House booked Mr. Obama on a round robin of Sunday morning talk shows, it skipped Fox and called it an “ideological outlet,” leading the “Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace to appear on Bill O’Reilly’s prime-time show and call the administration “the biggest bunch of crybabies I have dealt with in my 30 years in Washington.”
The internet lives forever. That’s something Brian Stelter should start getting used to.
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Robert Eno is the director of research for Conservative Review. He is a conservative from deep blue Massachusetts but now lives in Greenville, SC.