Brian Karem

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Brian Karem
Brian James Karem

(1961-03-10) March 10, 1961 (age 58)
ResidenceRockville, Maryland
Alma materUniversity of Missouri
OccupationJournalist, writer
Years active1983–present
EmployerPlayboy, CNN
Known forJailed for not revealing sources
Notable work
Marked for Death, Shield the Source
Spouse(s)Pamela J. Russell

Brian James Karem (born March 10, 1961) is an American journalist and author working as the White House correspondent for Playboy[1] and political analyst for CNN.[2] He also hosts the "Just Ask The Question" podcast.[3]

In 1991, Karem received the National Press Club Freedom of the Press award for refusing to reveal his sources in a story related to the killing of a police officer in Texas.[4][5]

Early life and education[edit]

Karem was born in 1961 in Louisville, Kentucky. After finishing Seneca High School MCA in 1979, he attended the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri, graduating with a degree in journalism in 1983.[6]


In 1983, Karem joined The Montgomery County Courier in Conroe, Texas as sports editor.[7] After leaving the Courier in 1984, Karem switched to television joining WKYT-TV in Lexington, Kentucky as a political reporter.[8]

He returned to Texas in 1986 to work at KMOL-TV in San Antonio. In 1990, Karem was jailed for refusing to reveal the name of a source who arranged an interview with a suspect involved in killing a police officer.[9] During the Gulf War, he was one of the first reporters to enter Kuwait City after its liberation.[10]

In 1992, Karem asked then President George H. W. Bush to comment on claims the summit was a "joke". Bush told him to sit down. Karem lost his job at KMOL over the incident, but later gained an interview with Sam Donaldson on ABC and a mention from The Tonight Show host Jay Leno.[11]

Following his termination from KMOL, Karem joined the television program, America's Most Wanted as a producer and correspondent.[12] He was the first American reporter allowed inside Pablo Escobar's palatial prison after Escobar's escape from Colombian authorities.[13]

Between 2004 and 2018, Karem served as the executive editor of the Montgomery County Sentinel in Rockville, Maryland, overseeing news coverage for Montgomery County, Maryland and writing a weekly column called the Editor's Notebook.[14][15] Between 2012 and 2015, he was also the publisher for MoCoVox.Com, an online content provider.[12]

On June 14, 2018, Karem said to Sarah Huckabee Sanders at a White House Press briefing on the Administration's policy of seizing children from their parents at United States border crossings: "Come on, Sarah, you're a parent! Don't you have any empathy for what these people are going through? They have less than you do. Sarah, come on, seriously." His comments received heavy criticism from numerous journalists as being inappropriate and pretentious.[16]

On July 11, 2019, following an event at the White House, Karem called conservative social media representatives attending a Rose Garden event "a group of people eager for demonic possession." The remark angered Sebastian Gorka, former deputy assistant to President Trump and now a radio talk-show host. Gorka confronted Karem, yelling across the lawn: "And you're a journalist, right?" Karem replied with what some consider a taunt saying, "Come on over here and talk to me, brother. We can go outside and have a long conversation."[17] At that point, Gorka walked across the lawn, and accused Karem of a threat. Getting close to Karem, in front of a large gathering of White House media and cameras, Gorka yelled, "You're not a journalist! You're a punk!".[18][19][20][21][22]


  • National Press Club Freedom of the Press Award[12]
  • Pieringer Award for Valor and Journalist Excellence[12]


  1. ^ Phillips, Kristine (June 28, 2017). "'I don't like bullies': Reporter explains why he confronted Sarah Huckabee Sanders". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved June 28, 2017.
  2. ^ Wulfsohn, Joseph (June 11, 2019). "CNN political analyst 'updates' tweet after being accused of spreading 'fake news' about Trump". Fox News. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Before Sarah Huckabee Fight, Brian J. Karem Went to Jail for Sources". TheWrap. June 27, 2017. Retrieved June 28, 2017.
  5. ^ "U.S. journalists jailed for reporting to gather at National Press Club, 6 pm June 1". National Press Club. May 14, 2015. Retrieved June 28, 2017.
  6. ^ "White House reporter from Louisville scolds Trump press secretary about 'fake news'". Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  7. ^ "Brian Karem". Linkedin. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  8. ^ "The demise of a community newspaper affects us all". Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  9. ^ Suro, Roberto (June 30, 1990). "Texas Reporter Is Jailed For Withholding Names". The New York Times. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  10. ^ "Brian Karem". René Moawad Foundation. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  11. ^ "Reporter who confronted White House once made waves in San Antonio". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
  12. ^ a b c d "Brian Karem Author page". Facebook. Retrieved 2019-07-12.
  13. ^ "Brian Karem, Author". Harper Collins. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  14. ^ "Brian Karem". Linkedin. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ Howe, Caleb (2019-07-11). "New Video Shows CNN's Karem Taunting Summit Guests With 'Demonic Possession' Jab, Daring Gorka to Take Dispute 'Outside'". Mediaite. Retrieved 2019-07-12. come on over here and talk to me, brother. We can go outside and have a long conversation.
  18. ^ [1]
  19. ^ Samuels, Brett (11 July 2019). "Trump social media summit attendees clash with reporters in Rose Garden". The Hill. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  20. ^ Rosas, Julio (11 July 2019). "'You're a punk!': Sebastian Gorka confronts White House journalists in Rose Garden (VIDEO)". Washington Examiner. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  21. ^ Boyer, Dave (11 July 2019). "Sebastian Gorka, CNN pundit get into heated altercation in Rose Garden". The Washington Times. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  22. ^ Haltiwanger, John (11 July 2019). "Former Trump aide Sebastian Gorka screamed in a journalist's face in the Rose Garden as supporters cheered". Business Insider. Retrieved 11 July 2019.

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