Sentinel Newspapers Executive Editor Brian Karem offered an apology on Sunday that should be issued on behalf of all journalists covering the White House and Donald Trump.
Karem, who earned praise this week from critics of the Trump administration and scorn from its supporters for calling out White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on the administration’s policy of separating immigrant children from their parents, apologized “to every human being who’s had to suffer, who has less than I do.”
The apology follows a heated exchange during a White House press briefing on Thursday in which Karem begged Sanders to show some human compassion and empathy about the fact that her colleagues are rounding up children and throwing them into detention camps, which most rational people view as both large-scale child abuse and government-sponsored human rights violations.
“Come on Sarah, you’re a parent! Don’t you have any empathy for what these people are going through? They have less than you do,” Karem shouted in the exchange.
“Hey, Brian, I know you want to get some more TV time, but that’s not what this is about,” Sanders replied flippantly.
“These people don’t belong there. They are jokes,” Watters said on Fox News’ The Five, referring to Karem and CNN’s Jim Acosta. “They need to start ripping press passes away. If you’re going to act like a wild animal, you don’t belong there.”
“This from a lapdog for the White House,” Acosta tweeted in response.
On Sunday, CNN’s Brian Stelter, host of Reliable Sources, called Karem’s exchange with Sanders an “outburst.” Stelter asked Karem, “Do you regret losing your cool, Brian?”
To which Karem responded:
Um, I have an apology to make. I apologize to every human being who’s had to suffer, who has less than I do, and I did not come to the table sooner. I’m sorry to those people for waiting so long and holding my temper. I’m sorry that I am extremely angry with this administration that has lied to me, continues to lie to me. I’m sorry as a reporter that for so long I thought that the idea was to, I was struggling so hard to do my job, I forgot that my job is to comfort the afflicted, afflict the comfortable, and ask questions for those who have no voice.
One would think that would be enough said. The same CNN program even displayed a chyron showing that CNN had tracked 22 Trump lies in just 51 minutes.
But Stelter wasn’t satisfied with Karem’s response.
“I respect what you’re saying, but you came across as a caricature for many of the people that are watching who feel journalists are trying to make it all about themselves, trying to get on TV more often, trying to get more attention,” Stelter said.
Which was a curious thing to say for a guy who’s on TV all the time. Not to mention he has just made Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Fox News’ job a little easier today.