Playboy White House reporter Brian Karem blasted President Donald Trump's continued criticism of the media Wednesday, declaring of himself and the White House press corps, "we are the people."
Karem, who also serves as a CNN political analyst, added he was worried one of Trump's supporters would harm a journalist "to prove their worth to the president."
Trump aroused the ire of the White House press corps Wednesday morning when he suggested potentially yanking media credentials, calling the press "corrupt" and "Fake News" in a tweet. He also suggested negative news about his administration was "fake."
The Fake News is working overtime. Just reported that, despite the tremendous success we are having with the economy & all things else, 91% of the Network News about me is negative (Fake). Why do we work so hard in working with the media when it is corrupt? Take away credentials?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 9, 2018
White House Correspondents Association President Margaret Talev said in a statement that such a move would be "an unconscionable assault on the First Amendment."
Reporter April Ryan, who recently suggested press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders wanted to physically fight her, said without the press, "you don't find out the necessary information that is coming from this White House."
"It's not about us," she said.
Karem said Trump's rhetoric about the media was dangerous.
"I've always been worried about the guy who's working a county fair somewhere in Montana; it's his first year on the job, and somebody who wants to prove their worth to the president is going to go out and harm that kid who's freshly to the field of reporters," he said.
CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta made a similar statement last month during an interview with Variety. He said a Trump supporter who might be mentally unstable could hurt a journalist if Trump kept up his attacks.
Karem said it was not possible to play "error-free baseball," saying Trump held the media to a higher standard than himself.
"He makes us the enemy. We're not the enemy of the people," he said. "We are the people. We are the people represented in that room … We have to be fair. We have to be fair. That's all there is to it, but at the end of the day, that cannot mean that we do not point out the foibles of a president who by saying this, proves he's unfit to hold office."
Contrary to Karem's claim that the correspondents were representative of the people, in 2016, Politico Magazine‘s poll of White House correspondents revealed zero registered Republicans, while 27 percent of respondents said they were Democrats. In 2017, five percent of the 63 polled reporters were Republicans, against 16 percent declared Democrats.