It only took him months to get around to it, but on Wednesday morning Donald Trump finally decided to hold a press conference in the wake of allegations that he is a fan of “water sports.” Although the event itself wasn’t particularly remarkable, the incoming god-emperor’s refusal to take a question from a CNN reporter was. It wasn’t surprising — Trump has long let his contempt for the network be known. But it was still shocking to watch reporter Jim Acosta attempt to address the ochre ogre with his question, only to be repeatedly smacked down. “You are fake news,” Trump told Acosta.
After the press conference, Acosta said on air that Trump press secretary Sean Spicer told him if he tried to ask a question again he would be thrown out.
— Media Matters (@mmfa) January 11, 2017
RELATED: Trump’s Childish Press Conference Meltdown Over ‘Fake News’ CNN Is His Worst Tantrum Yet (VIDEO)
Naturally, there has been something of an uproar about the event. Outlets from The Huffington Post to the UK’s Independent are reporting on it. There is understandable concern in some quarters that Trump intends to manipulate the news by only speaking to news outlets that report favorably on him. But leave it to The Daily Caller, the right-wing Obama-hating site founded by weekend Fox And Friends tool Tucker Carlson, to come up with a totally false comparison of what took place between Trump and Acosta to remarks President Obama has made about Fox News.
Apparently, all of the political reporters at The Daily Caller had the day off, as the story was written by entertainment editor Kaitlan Collins. Or maybe Trump is going to be her beat now, due to his entertainment value. Collins’ story features this headline:
The Media Is Outraged That Trump Criticized CNN. They Must Have Forgotten When Obama Did The Same To Fox News.
No, Kaitlan, the media isn’t outraged that Trump criticized CNN. They’re outraged that he refused to take a question from a CNN reporter.
Straw man propped up, Collins proceeds to knock it down, providing readers with a series of video clips of President Obama criticizing Fox News. But what she fails to provide her readers is even one single example of Obama refusing to answer a question posed by a Fox reporter.
In fact, there are a number of videos readily available of the president responding to Fox reporters’ questions. The most recent example of those comes from just this past November, when Fox reporter Rich Edson asked Obama whether he plans to refrain from criticizing his successor.
Or this one from 2014, when Obama responded to a loaded question on foreign policy from Fox White House correspondent Ed Henry.
Not to mention the occasions when the president sat down for extended interviews with Fox personalities, certainly knowing that the network would take every opportunity to twist his words beyond recognition. The most recent of those took place on Fox News Sunday last April.
Let’s be clear on what happened on Wednesday morning. Trump and his team essentially blacklisted a major news network, preventing them from asking questions because he doesn’t like how they report on him. That’s the story — not the bogus claim that members of the media are upset over Trump calling CNN “fake news.”
But Kaitlan Collins had to get in a shot at the outgoing president by drawing a parallel between the behavior of Trump and that of Obama when it comes to handling a supposedly hostile news source. And she had to change the real story to something else in order to do so. Did I hear somebody say “fake news?”
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