President Donald Trump is not defending Roseanne Barr's racist tweet that got her rebooted television show canceled by ABC, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday, "he's simply pointing out the bias" in the media against him and his administration.
"The president is pointing to the hypocrisy in the media saying that the most horrible things about this president and nobody addresses it," Sanders told reporters at the daily briefing.
In a Wednesday tweet, Trump noted that Robert Iger, CEO of Walt Disney Co., which owns ABC, called Valerie Jarrett to say the network would not condone Barr's bigoted tweet Tuesday about the former top Obama aide.
Iger never called him, Trump said, to apologize for "the horrible statements" that have been said about him on ABC or its affiliates.
"Maybe I just didn't get the call," Trump said in the post.
Sanders told reporters: "The president's simply calling out media bias. No one is defending what she said.
"The president is the president of all Americans, and he's focused on doing what is best for our country."
Sanders then ticked off a list of attacks by personalities at Disney-owned operations to emphasize her point.
"Where was Bob Iger's apology to the White House staff for [former ESPN "SportsCenter" co-host] Jemele Hill calling the president and anyone associated with him a white supremacist?
"To Christians around the world for [The View co-host] Joy Behar calling Christianity a mental illness?"
"Where was the apology for Kathy Griffin going on a profane rant against the president on 'The View' after a photo showed her holding President Trump's decapitated head?" Sanders continued.
"And where was the apology from Bob Iger for ESPN hiring Keith Olbermann after his numerous expletive-laced tweets attacking the president as a Nazi and even expanding his role after that attack against the president's family?"
Behar apologized for her February remarks — as did Hill for last September's tweets, though she was suspended for two weeks the next month for violating ESPN's social media policy.
Hill now works at company's "The Undefeated" news operation.
In addition, Griffin apologized and said she went way too far when she appeared in a brief video in May 2017 holding what looked like President Trump's decapitated head.
Olbermann was hired earlier this month by ESPN for the sixth time, in a deal that includes "additional appearances across ESPN platforms and programs in 2018," The Hollywood Reporter disclosed Friday.
"This is a double standard that the president is speaking about," Sanders told reporters. "No one is defending her comments.
"They are inappropriate," she added. "But that is the point he was making."
Sanders also told reporters she was not aware of whether anyone from the White House had reached out to Iger on Barr's tweets.
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