Several media outlets misrepresented what White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said about the remarks liberal comedian Samantha Bee directed at Ivanka Trump.
After Bee called Ivanka Trump a “feckless c***” on her TBS program “Full Frontal,” Sanders released a statement that read:
“The language used by Samantha Bee last night is vile and vicious. The collective silence by the left and its media allies is appalling. Her disgusting comments and show are not fit for broadcast, and executives at Time Warner and TBS must demonstrate that such explicit profanity about female members of this administration will not be condoned on its network.”
CNN’s headline accurately reflected Sanders’ statement: “White House says Samantha Bee’s attack on Ivanka Trump was ‘vile and vicious.’”
But others read much more into the comments.
“White House Demands TBS Cancel Samantha Bee’s Show,” read the headline on the Daily Beast. “White House Blasts Samantha Bee Over Ivanka Slur, Demands TBS Cancel Show,” read the Deadline headline.
The Wrap crept close to the line with a headline that read: “White House Condemns ‘Vile and Vicious’ Samantha Bee, Calls on Time Warner, TBS to Act.”
The uproar began when Ivanka Trump tweeted a picture of her holding her 2-year-old son that read, “My <3! #SundayMorning. The left denounced this as tone-deaf since her father’s administration was separating children from their parents at the Mexican border.
“Ivanka Trump, who works at the White House, chose to post the second most oblivious tweet we’ve seen this week,” Bee said to the camera. “You know, Ivanka, that’s a beautiful photo of you and your child. But let me just say, one mother to another, do something about your dad’s immigration practices, you feckless c***. He listens to you. Put on something tight and low-cut and tell your father to f***ing stop it. Tell him it was an Obama thing and see how it goes. OK?”
Bee has apologized, but two companies have suspended advertising on her show and pressure continues for the show to be canceled, just as “Roseanne” was promptly canceled after its star, Roseanne Barr, made a racist Twitter joke about former President Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett.
The stories were more reserved.
“White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders slammed comedienne Samantha Bee’s comments about Ivanka Trump on Thursday,” led the Daily Beast’s story, which went on to recount the incident without mentioning what about Sanders’ comments could be interpreted as demanding the show be canceled.
The story on the Deadline website also didn’t come close to matching the headline. “The White House this morning blasted Samantha Bee and TBS over Bee having called White House staffer/First Daughter Ivanka Trump a “feckless c—t” in a segment about President Donald Trump’s immigration policy,” read the lead, written by veteran entertainment writer Lisa deMoraes.
A follow-up story, also by deMoraes, featured the headline: “Samantha Bee, TBS Apologize To Ivanka Trump For Slur After White House Demands Show Cancellation.”
But again, the story offered no evidence of this, leading with the news TBS had apologized shortly after Bee released her own apology.
It did provide some insight into why CNN’s treatment of this was less biased than the other outlets. CNN and TBS are part of the same company.
“This is a family issue,” veteran CNN anchor John King said. “Apologize. And the company – forgive me, I work here – but the company should say something too.”