The mainstream media would love to see Sarah Sanders go.
In her job as White House press secretary since July 2017, Sanders has spent her time at the podium as part disciplinarian/part den mother to the often ill-mannered members of the White House press corps.
Now, one of the largest outlets in the mainstream media is reporting Sanders has decided she’s on her way out, but Sanders’ response was cutting.
CBS News reported Wednesday that Sanders has told unidentified “friends” that she’s leaving her post at the end of the year. The report claimed deputy White House press secretary Raj Shah is also planning to leave, but did not give a departure date.
Sanders herself was not quoted in the piece, though CBS said it had asked her repeatedly for comment.
In a Twitter post Wednesday night, she questioned the story’s essential premise.
Does @CBSNews know something I don’t about my plans and my future? I was at my daughter’s year-end Kindergarten event and they ran a story about my “plans to leave the WH” without even talking to me. I love my job and am honored to work for @POTUS
— Stephanie Grisham (@PressSec) June 14, 2018
“Does @CBSNews know something I don’t about my plans and my future? I was at my daughter’s year-end Kindergarten event and they ran a story about my ‘plans to leave the WH’ without even talking to me,” she wrote. “I love my job and am honored to work for @POTUS.”
Critics will note that Sanders didn’t outright deny the CBS report, but the woman has been dealing with the more scurrilous elements of the Fourth Estate (CNN’s Jim Acosta leaps to mind) long enough to know that anything she said at that point would be open to distortion along the lines of being asked if she’d stopped beating her children yet.
(If she denied the report now, then decided in November to change her job or become a full-time mother — the most demanding job of all — the charges of “lies” would be deafening.)
More to the point, Sanders’ tweet is a long, long way from confirming the story. It also brings up a real question about the veracity of a report that relies on unnamed “friends” who may or may not be passing on accurate information.
Essentially what CBS is “reporting” here is a rumor being dressed up as fact. Or, as President Donald Trump might put it, “fake news.”
Considering how well known Sanders is — despised by liberals, beloved among conservatives and Trump supporters – the report drew immediate attention. A Google search with the words “Sanders will leave White House” showed CBS got the results it was looking for.
“Sarah Sanders” is the headline name here, and that’s the part of the story that’s getting the most attention for obvious reasons. But the inclusion of deputy press secretary Raj Shah – who’s reportedly “considering his exit, but he has not yet settled on an exact date” is what gives the game away.
“Considering” leaving a job is something most Americans do on a fairly regular basis, though most don’t. And it looks like CBS didn’t even have a vague time element to hang it on.
That didn’t stop CBS from including the expected doom-and-gloom quotes about Trump White House personnel from liberal entities like the Brookings Institution, of course. And the now-standard ankle-biting quote from an anonymous “source close to the administration.”
The bottom line here is that Sanders might or might not be at the podium of the White House next year, and Shah might not be her deputy at some unspecified date, but that’s part of life in the Free World.
Judging by the sourcing for its report, CBS News doesn’t know any more for sure about whether that will be the case than the rest of us do. But it’s not shy about publishing a story that pretends it does, which is a pretty good definition of “fake news.”
The mainstream media would love to see Sarah Sanders go, and a report like this just proves it.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.