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A reporter finally called out Trump's fake news claims in the White House today.

Brian Karem took a bold stand in the name of freedom of the press.

A reporter finally called out Trump's fake news claims in the White House today.

Things got heated during today's White House press briefing over a familiar topic: fake news.

After Breitbart's Charlie Spiering asked a question about CNN's decision to retract and apologize for a controversial story about connections between one of President Donald Trump's allies and Russia, Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tore into media outlets for running what she called "fake news directed at this president."

The goal was clear: to sow distrust in reporting that made the administration look bad. It's been done time and time again.


White House reporter Brian Karem was tired of the unending assault and decided to speak up.

"Any one of us are replaceable, and any one of us, if we don’t get it right, the audience has the opportunity to turn the channel or not read us," said Karem, emphasizing journalists are just trying to do their jobs. They want to be able to ask questions, get answers, and report the truth.

By all accounts, CNN did the right thing about the story in question. They made a mistake and did what they could to fix it.

The story, which ran on CNN's website, alleged that Congress was investigating connections between Trump ally Anthony Scaramucci and a Russian investment fund. Shortly after the article was published, the outlet pulled it down, issuing a statement saying the story didn't live up to their editorial standards. Three journalists involved with the story resigned, and Scaramucci accepted CNN's apology. This is how things are supposed to work when a mistake is made.

Which is why Karem — who isn't involved with CNN, but was simply tired of reputable news outlets being called "fake news" — decided to speak up. And it's a good thing he did.

Making a mistake, owning up to it, and facing the consequences isn't "fake news." It's time Trump learns this lesson.

This morning, the president sent out a series of tweets calling CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, The New York Times, and The Washington Post "fake news."

Fact check: They're not.

Interestingly enough, just a few hours later, Pulitzer-winning Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold‏ wrote that Trump had some very literal "fake news" hanging up at a number of his own properties: a phony Time magazine cover. The irony here shouldn't be lost on anyone.

It might seem comical our president is so out of touch with reality that he and his administration declare anything he doesn't like to be "fake news," but it's not. It's dangerous.

"If the media can’t be trusted to report the news, that’s a dangerous place for America," said Huckabee Sanders during the briefing.

She's right. That's why more people like Karem must push back against an administration dead set on suppressing free speech. While he wasn't the one being called "fake news" today, there's no telling what tomorrow will bring.

Watch the entire, powerful exchange below:

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When Sue Hoppin was in college, she met the man she was going to marry. "I was attending the University of Denver, and he was at the Air Force Academy," she says. "My dad had also attended the University of Denver and warned me not to date those flyboys from the Springs."

"He didn't say anything about marrying one of them," she says. And so began her life as a military spouse.

The life brings some real advantages, like opportunities to live abroad — her family got to live all around the US, Japan, and Germany — but it also comes with some downsides, like having to put your spouse's career over your own goals.

"Though we choose to marry someone in the military, we had career goals before we got married, and those didn't just disappear."

Career aspirations become more difficult to achieve, and progress comes with lots of starts and stops. After experiencing these unique challenges firsthand, Sue founded an organization to help other military spouses in similar situations.

Sue had gotten a degree in international relations because she wanted to pursue a career in diplomacy, but for fourteen years she wasn't able to make any headway — not until they moved back to the DC area. "Eighteen months later, many rejections later, it became apparent that this was going to be more challenging than I could ever imagine," she says.

Eighteen months is halfway through a typical assignment, and by then, most spouses are looking for their next assignment. "If I couldn't find a job in my own 'hometown' with multiple degrees and a great network, this didn't bode well for other military spouses," she says.

She's not wrong. Military spouses spend most of their lives moving with their partners, which means they're often far from family and other support networks. When they do find a job, they often make less than their civilian counterparts — and they're more likely to experience underemployment or unemployment. In fact, on some deployments, spouses are not even allowed to work.

Before the pandemic, military spouse unemployment was 22%. Since the pandemic, it's expected to rise to 35%.

Sue eventually found a job working at a military-focused nonprofit, and it helped her get the experience she needed to create her own dedicated military spouse program. She wrote a book and started saving up enough money to start the National Military Spouse Network (NMSN), which she founded in 2010 as the first organization of its kind.

"I founded the NMSN to help professional military spouses develop flexible careers they could perform from any location."

"Over the years, the program has expanded to include a free digital magazine, professional development events, drafting annual White Papers and organizing national and local advocacy to address the issues of most concern to the professional military spouse community," she says.

Not only was NMSN's mission important to Sue on a personal level she also saw it as part of something bigger than herself.

"Gone are the days when families can thrive on one salary. Like everyone else, most military families rely on two salaries to make ends meet. If a military spouse wants or needs to work, they should be able to," she says.

"When less than one percent of our population serves in the military," she continues, "we need to be able to not only recruit the best and the brightest but also retain them."

"We lose out as a nation when service members leave the force because their spouse is unable to find employment. We see it as a national security issue."

"The NMSN team has worked tirelessly to jumpstart the discussion and keep the challenges affecting military spouses top of mind. We have elevated the conversation to Congress and the White House," she continues. "I'm so proud of the fact that corporations, the government, and the general public are increasingly interested in the issues affecting military spouses and recognizing the employment roadblocks they unfairly have faced."

"We have collectively made other people care, and in doing so, we elevated the issues of military spouse unemployment to a national and global level," she adds. "In the process, we've also empowered military spouses to advocate for themselves and our community so that military spouse employment issues can continue to remain at the forefront."

Not only has NMSN become a sought-after leader in the military spouse employment space, but Sue has also seen the career she dreamed of materializing for herself. She was recently invited to participate in the public re-launch of Joining Forces, a White House initiative supporting military and veteran families, with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

She has also had two of her recommendations for practical solutions introduced into legislation just this year. She was the first in the Air Force community to show leadership the power of social media to reach both their airmen and their military families.

That is why Sue is one of Tory Burch's "Empowered Women" this year. The $5,000 donation will be going to The Madeira School, a school that Sue herself attended when she was in high school because, she says, "the lessons I learned there as a student pretty much set the tone for my personal and professional life. It's so meaningful to know that the donation will go towards making a Madeira education more accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it and providing them with a life-changing opportunity."

Most military children will move one to three times during high school so having a continuous four-year experience at one high school can be an important gift. After traveling for much of her formative years, Sue attended Madeira and found herself "in an environment that fostered confidence and empowerment. As young women, we were expected to have a voice and advocate not just for ourselves, but for those around us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!

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This article originally appeared on 03.19.15


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