White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders announced on Thursday that she will be stepping away at the end of the month, inspiring much speculation on who will take on the challenge of taking on the media on Trump's behalf — and opening the door for the mainstream media, with whom she's frequently exchanged barbs, to take some parting shots. On his radio program Friday, Rush Limbaugh blasted the media for its "despicable" treatment of Sanders, as highlighted by their response to the announcement of her departure.
"I love the job she does. She is perfect for that job," said Rush (transcript via RushLimbaugh.com). "One of the best things that Sarah Sanders has done, aside from her daily conduct of the job, one of the best things she’s done is end and eliminate the daily White House press briefing, because you know what that became under Trump? It wasn’t a press briefing. ...The White House press briefing became an audition for various members of the Drive-By Media to make fools of themselves in order to stand out and get noticed. Exhibit A: Jim Acosta of CNN. It was just an opportunity to humiliate, embarrass, misbehave."
Of all the reporters at the White House, the exchanges between Sanders and Acosta have made the most news, as The Daily Wire has chronicled.
Limbaugh pointed out that Trump is constantly blasted for his "unacceptable" behavior, but then pointed to the media's treatment of Sanders as evidence of their hypocrisy. "What the hell would you describe the media’s behavior every day toward Trump or toward Sarah Sanders as? Is that representative of Washington values?" he asked.
He then cued a montage of media personalities working in needless jabs on Sanders in their coverage of her announcement:
ERIN BURNETT: (dramatic music) Trump’s most loyal defender, Sarah Sanders, is leaving. (pause) Can she get her credibility back?
JIM ACOSTA: (outdoor noise) She fell short of her duty to the American people.
PAULA REID: (voice over) The White House briefing effectively died on her watch.
PAMELA BROWN: (outdoor noise) … accused of not being truthful.
MATT MILLER: I hope that she’s not able to escape this White House without, kind of, the shame and stigma following her.
ANDERSON COOPER: Who gets out of the Trump White House alive — you know, with their reputation intact? (Snort!)
AMANDA CARPENTER: She’s been exposed for the fraud that she is.
JACKIE KUCINICH: She’ll go down as someone who is very loyal to the president and not very loyal to the truth.
JOE LOCKHART: … failure on the most important parts of the job, as a liar.
NICOLLE WALLACE: She was a liar. It’s in the Mueller report.
DON LEMON: Sarah Sanders lied again and again and again.
DAVID GERGEN: Sarah Sanders has opened the door to massive amount of lying.
APRIL RYAN: She suffers from lie-abetes. Her tenure has been fraught with sex, lies, and videotape. She’s lied, lied, lied, lied, lied.
"'Lied, lied, lied…'" Limbaugh said, imitating April Ryan. "You, you will not find that kind of reaction to an outgoing White House press secretary anywhere else ever. Not a single one."
After playing a clip of Trump praising Sanders on Thursday for doing "an incredible job" and being both "tough" and "good," Rush stressed that he agrees.
"She was exceptional at this job," he said. "She was a pit bull in their faces, had answers, and made them look like the children they are. She had this unique talent to make them look bad. She didn’t cower. She didn’t play the game. She called them out when they were grandstanding in order to call attention to themselves, and that’s why they don’t like her. They don’t like her because she was effective. They don’t like her because she was loyal to Trump."