Local Arkansas paper calls out New York Times for ‘puff piece’ on Sarah Huckabee Sanders

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After resigning from her position as White House press secretary earlier this year, Sarah Huckabee Sanders was free to consider running for governor of Arkansas in 2022 (which will be Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s last full year in office). Sanders is the subject of a November 24 article by the New York Times’ Annie Karni, and in Sanders’ home state, Arkansas Times journalist Max Brantley offers a scathing critique of Karni’s piece in an article of his own.

“It is such a puff piece — and reminiscent of when a Key White House correspondent rose to Sanders’ defense when she was the butt of jokes at a correspondents’ dinner — that many couldn’t help wonder if it was payback for source services,” Branley writes. “Perhaps not. Sanders has ever — and in this article — been loyal to Donald Trump.”

Brantley notes that in her article, Karni “devotes a couple of paragraphs to (Sanders’) clashes with the press corps” and discusses the time Sanders was asked to leave a restaurant in Washington, D.C. And the quote from Sanders that Brantley finds the most amusing is “I don’t like being called a liar” — a quote that, Brantley observes, is being lambasted on social media.

On Twitter, former New York Times columnist Clyde Haberman responds to that quote: “Of course, there was an easy way for her to avoid being called that when she was Trump’s press secretary. She could’ve tried not lying.”

Other Twitter users also had much to say about that quote and Karni’s article. @zooder49 tweeted that Sanders “is a lying cheat who deserves to be in jail, not in government,” and @RobynNissim complained, “what a nauseating piece to read first thing in the morning.”

@joemcginnissjr asserts, “this piece is embarrassing for its author and her employer,” while @StanleyLewis09 observes that Sanders “lied about everything, day in and day out.”

@PaulPiscitelli1 notes, “not lying would have required integrity,” and @redstmiscreant points out, “lying, by definition, was her job. And she excelled at it.”

Sanders is the daughter of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Brantley, in the Arkansas Times, also discusses a quote from Karni’s article in which Sanders says she thought she was being “called” to run for governor of Arkansas. Brantley scoffs, “Sanders says she feels ‘called’ to run for statewide office, though not ready to declare candidacy just yet. A mission from God, I guess, just like the Blues Brothers.”

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