CNN’s Anderson Cooper tore into White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham Friday. He used “The Ridiculist” segment of his weeknight show to trash Grisham and her appearance on FNC’s Fox and Friends Friday morning.
“The Ridiculist” segment of his show is allegedly one for humor but there wasn’t anything funny about this one. Cooper apparently was triggered with Grisham’s opinion of White House press briefings. Grisham has not held one since she took over that job so Cooper ridiculed her as a groundhog popping up to do an interview on FOX. The segment lasted for 4 minutes, 19 seconds and the snark began immediately. He started off with noting Grisham “apparently got a brief furlough from witness protection” and said she was checking in with “her supervisors over at Fox News.” That was as gentle as his commentary got about her. It went downhill from there and he made his attack very personal. It went beyond “poking fun” at her.
To start at the beginning, Stephanie Grisham did an interview on Fox and Friends that covered various topics in the headlines. A big focus was on her defense of acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney’s appearance before the press corps Thursday. Grisham said the reporters went into a “tizzy” and Mulvaney did “a great job”. Then she said what many observers regularly say about the press – the press conferences and press briefings, in particular, are turned into theatre performances. She went on to say it is a way for journalists to grab some attention and end up on newscasts. She admitted she hasn’t held a press briefing since she took over that job but said if President Trump wanted her to do so, she would ”happily do it.”
Speaking with the Fox & Friends hosts Friday morning, Grisham made it clear that if the president wanted her to go out and “take that podium,” referring the podium in front of the press briefing room, she will “happily do it.”
She then suggested that when someone, like acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney actually uses the briefing room podium it is more “theater” than a press conference.
“As evidenced by yesterday with Mick, it was, again, more theater,” Grisham opined. “It is about people wanting to be on TV and making names for themselves.”
Let’s face it – she said what most of us think every time the press gets a chance to question the president or anyone in his administration on camera. CNN’s Jim Acosta is a prime example of what Grisham is addressing. He’s even written a book about his adventures in journalism. Also to keep in mind, FOX beats CNN in primetime ratings every single week, even on coverage of impeachment hearings. CNN, on the other hand, has a different kind of distinction. It is the most polarizing news brand.
Cooper mocked Grisham’s choice of words and suggested she get out and go to the theatre more often. She responded in the best way possible – she essentially said, you know, she would do that but she’s busy being a single working mom doing three jobs in the White House besides raising her kids. So, no, Stephanie Grisham doesn’t get to the theatre often. That’s a luxury that professional men like Anderson Cooper have, due to less strenuous personal obligations.
“Miss Grisham clearly doesn’t get to Broadway enough if she, you know, thinks those press conferences are theater. Maybe on one of the seven days a week she’s not doing her job, she can catch maybe a matinee of ‘Hamilton,'” Cooper said. “Also, hate to break it to her but TV reporters are already on TV.”
Grisham says he “got that part right.”
“I am a single mom who (proudly) holds three roles in the White House, and I am doing the very best I can. But I definitely don’t get to Broadway enough,” she told Business Insider.
Cooper also noted that Grisham had used the defense of “theater” before, and suggested that she needed to workshop her talking points.
Grisham responded Sunday in just the right way. She chose to take the high road and not go personal on Anderson Cooper, as he did against her. She didn’t attack his intelligence or character. She reminded everyone that people working in the White House are human beings, too.
“I think CNN has lost sight of the fact that we are human beings,” Grisham said in response. “Just as Anderson Cooper has a job to do, working for a company he is proud of, so do I.”
“I also imagine he has a personal life, where he has to juggle quite a bit – and the same goes for me,” Grisham added.
The press secretary is right when she says a return to real journalism would be nice.
America needs real journalism.
Real journalists don't have an agenda. They gather and present the news in an unbiased manner. They report the facts—and let the citizens decide.
— Stephanie Grisham (@PressSec) October 18, 2019
CNN's corporate leaders have failed the American people. They have also failed their own employees. In their words:
"Everything is all Trump . . . It's sad."
"Drive conflict. Create clicks. Get more money."
"The only way this will go away is when [Trump] dies. Hopefully soon."
— Stephanie Grisham (@PressSec) October 18, 2019