White House TRAMPLES Freedom of the Press!!!!

White House Bars Times and 2 Other News Outlets From Briefing

Reporters from The Times, CNN and Politico were not allowed to enter the West Wing office of the press secretary, Sean M. Spicer, for the scheduled briefing. Aides to Mr. Spicer allowed in reporters from only a handpicked group of news organizations that, the White House said, had been previously confirmed to attend.

Organizations allowed in included Breitbart News, the One America News Network and The Washington Times, all with conservative leanings. Journalists from ABC, CBS, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and Fox News also attended. 

Reporters from Time magazine and The Associated Press, who were set to be allowed in to the briefing, chose not to attend in protest of the White House’s actions. – New York Times, 24 February 2017


The White House made a very dangerous, very bad decision to dis-allow cameras in this morning’s press briefing conducted by Sean Spicer, and to bar a number of media outlets from the briefing.  A number of the barred agencies are the top purveyors of news between the government and the public, and THAT, my friends, is a huge problem.  As far as this writer is concerned, Donald Trump, whether it was his decision or Bannon’s, just bought himself a ticket out of the White House.  No president, no presidential advisor, has the right to withhold news from the public simply because those news agencies do not say nice things about him.  Period.

Two thumbs up to Time and the Associated Press for boycotting the event.  I hope others follow suit, and at the next press briefing, Sean Spicer finds himself all alone in the room!  But, of course those like Breitbart, Fox, The Washington Times, and other outlets that are already in Trump’s pocket, will be gleeful at this point.

Jeff Mason, president of the White House Correspondents’ Association issued the following rebuke to the administration:

“The W.H.C.A. board is protesting strongly against how today’s gaggle is being handled by the White House. We encourage the organizations that were allowed in to share the material with others in the press corps who were not. The board will be discussing this further with White House staff.” 

White House deputy communications director Raj Shah insisted this was all much ado about nothing.

Just hours before the ‘press’ briefing (I use the term loosely, as the right-wing organizations that were allowed in are not, in my book, legitimate press), Trump was on a tear about his favourite perceived enemy, the press, when he spoke at CPAC:

“A few days ago, I called the fake news media the enemy of the people, and they are. They are the enemy of the people.”

It is said that Steve aka Breitbart Bannon is the driving force behind much of Trump’s anti-press rhetoric, such as calling the press “the opposition party” and “the enemy”.  Here is what Bannon had to say in regards to the media at CPAC yesterday:

“It’s going to get worse every day for the media. If you think they are giving you your country back without a fight, you are sadly mistaken.”  I’m unclear as to what he meant by that last part, but it is obviously a gauntlet thrown down, and I hope the legitimate media are up for the challenge, for it is arguably the most important one of the day.

This is a shorter-than-usual post, as I do not have additional information at present, but I felt it was too important to sit on until tomorrow.  I will post more when I know more.

100 thoughts on “White House TRAMPLES Freedom of the Press!!!!

  1. Pingback: POWERS OF THE MIND

  2. One last comment. The much touted freedom of the press has always been a reality in this country, and also is one of our greatest freedoms. However….we need to remember that the Press is controlled in most countries of the world….where they can’t write the things that we write here in our blogs. Also, anything that can be built up can also be torn down. Huffing and puffing isn’t going to fix this thing!

    Like

    • I agree … especially like the idea of pitchforks! Hugh made a good point about the boycotts, though … it would be giving the man what he wants — to be surrounded only by reporters who will ‘play nice’ with him. I do hope the media comes out in force on this one … I believe they will. And yes, I understand … hopefully, though, the next news will be better … fingers crossed.

      Like

    • I know … I have been in a lengthy discussion with a friend who is normally rather level-headed, and did not even vote for Trump, yet he is applauding this! I am stunned, puzzled, …. what the heck is happening here???? And yes, silencing the press is step 1 … it’s why I have kept such close tabs on Erdogan in Turkey. I hope the press attacks this one on all fronts!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I once ran a personal election campaign based on the “public right to know.” And you know what? The public does not give a rat’s butt, unless the news is personal. Like dumping garbage on the neighbor’s lawn. Rezoning farm land to build houses.
      The only people that care about the news is other reporters and those who have direct business for or against whatever it is. They care when they have to pay taxes so someone else can get benefits. They care, too, when the funding gets tight and it is THEM who needs the assistance.
      People without kids in school could not care less about funding education through their taxes. Even people WITH school-age kids don’t want to hear about a tax levy half the time.

      The Trumpers don’t want the press to report what is going on…the less they know the less they will have to do. They don’t care about repression, or police brutality, or religious rhetoric at all.

      Read the comments on ANY board…doesn”t matter left or right, male or female, R or D. .. pro-Russia, anti-France–the comments sections aren’t discussion boards, with exchange of points-of-view. They are ALL simply preaching to the choir. If we watch CNN we direct comments to like-minded folks; even the FOX people interchange opinions and remarks with other people that agree with them!

      Any news is colored by variables such as Who is involved, what the facts are and the way they are couched.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I would argue that there are some of us who do care about all of the above and more. However, I have seen in the past year that for a vast portion of the country, what you say is certainly true. I have even had friends who I thought shared a more global view, say to me “why should I care? It won’t affect me?” It is a shallow, narrow attitude, but greed seems to be the major motivator these days … greed and what I refer to as ‘me-ism’. All of which is a large part of the problem. The only solution, short of war, lies in education, but even that is no longer considered as important to the masses as it once was. Sigh.

        Like

  3. As so many of the trumpet’s escapades, it of course made the news here too … Everybody is shaking their heads. I mean, CNN and The Times? Really??? He needs to learn that being criticised is part of being in politics. He does not need to like it, but it is part of the game. And if he wants to be treated with more respect … well, we all know that respect is not a one-way-road, right? As soon as he stops behaving like a toddler having fits in the sand pit, he can expect to be treated differently too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed … respect is a two-way street, AND it is either earned, or it isn’t. Thus far, the man has not done a single thing to earn my respect, nor do I imagine he ever will! I don’t know … I don’t think he has any humanity … I think he is dark inside … money and power are the only things he cares for, and he doesn’t care who or what he tramples to gain ever more of both. Sigh.

      Like

        • CPJ – Committee to Protect Journalists – an international, non-profit organization whose mission is the protection of a free press. You are more cynical than I, I think. I still have a strong belief in the power of good, investigative journalism. Perhaps I am wearing rose-coloured glasses … I don’t know.

          Like

          • I didn’t see the J. Yes…good investigative journalism…still has to work its way through the top brass though. Rosy glasses are good, but sometimes fail us. I recommend a good left-wing college professor. I like to read The Nation, need to resubscribe, I like to read it as bedtime reading…scary but interesting.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I have used The Nation on occasion as reference, but never perused it on any regular basis. Perhaps I need to take a closer look! I usually try to read history or biography or even on occasion fiction at bedtime … I have enough trouble sleeping without taking the political situation of the day to bed with me 🙂 But I will check out The Nation. Thanks!

              Like

              • I am currently reading John Grisham, the Litigators. I like Grisham…always entertains me until I fall asleep 🙂 I subscribed to The Nation for about 20 years when I was in school and teaching (80s-2000+) My field is Latin American studies, with Mexico and Central American nations my specialty. 1990s Revolutions there make for eye-opening education…Iran Contra, etc. Actually Lat.Am is my main field, also US History, and Europe since 1939. Just short of a phd, never finished my dissertation.

                Like

              • my late husband disliked the Nation, which he said was “opinion, not news.” Yes, but it is the mixture of various points of view/opinions that provide a consensus. I haven’t subscribed in recent years because I didn’t have the money.

                Liked by 1 person

                  • even the worst sources often have citations to basic information. Like George Will was a must-read even though I considered him anti-everything I thought. Like Krauthammer and that nasty Cal Thomas. When I was studying Central America et al I bought the NYT 3 times a week, subscribed to The Nation, and Newsweek and/or Time etc, and the daily Chronicle-Telegram which I had worked for for twenty odd years and read every day. Plus we used mainly real books then, in seminars and classes. I didn’t use any internet sources then, because it was early. This was 20 years ago…I did my college degrees from age 50 to 72. Late bloomer.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • 😀 I was working on my Ph.D. at age 63! Finally figured out I could put that money to better use at this stage of my life, but one thing I know … at our age, we appreciate our education more than most 20-year-olds do!

                      Like

                    • knowledge is priceless for its own sake. I had an assistantship, so the cost was not an issue. I did get much more out of it than I would have when I was younger. I depended on my income from the newspaper writing reporting job, where I also learned research and interviewing. Supporting five kids at the time on entry-level salary.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I can relate to that … I was supporting 3 kids while working full-time as a CPA and working on my M.A. in PoliSci at night. It was exhausting, but I am glad I did it. And yes, knowledge is never a waste … I would still like to finish my Ph.D. in International Relations, but time/money …

                      Like

                    • I ran out of time, even with my extended year they gave me, I missed the completion date which was ten years. Too bad, I kick myself regularly. I am ABD, all but dissertation. My advisor died when I was near completion of my final draft. All sorts of hell broke loose on the family-front, and that’s all excuses I know. Also, at 70+ I thought I had more important things to do, and my husband who was my biggest supporter also had died.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • History, Latin American History, US History, Modern Europe. I may publish parts of it, and I adopted some to a novel that I have half written. I already wrote the dissertation, just never completed it.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Hats off to you! I think the dissertation is part of what caused me to ‘give up’ … it just seemed overwhelming, and I admire anyone who wrote theirs. History would have been my choice had I not opted for International Relations.

                      Like

  4. Jill, this is extremely poor form and a threat to our democracy. Here is what Navy Seal said about the Trump reference to the press as the enemy of the people as reported yesterday.

    “William H. McRaven, a retired four-star admiral and former Navy SEAL, slammed President Trump’s characterization of the media as “the enemy of the American people,” calling that sentiment the “greatest threat to democracy” he’s ever seen.

    That’s coming from a man who’s seen major threats to democracy.

    McRaven, who was commander of the secretive Joint Special Operations Command, organized and oversaw the highly risky operation that killed Osama bin Laden almost six years ago. The admiral from Texas had tapped a special unit of Navy SEALs to carry out the May 2011 raid on the elusive terrorist’s hideout, a high-walled compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, The Washington Post’s Craig Whitlock reported shortly after bin Laden’s death.”

    Expect our President to attack this man on Twitter, if not doneso already. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • I had not heard this news about McRaven … very interesting! A few months ago, I would have said that surely Trump would not have the audacity to attack such an honourable man, a hero. But now … I understand that there are no limits … none at all … to who and how he will attack. Thanks for this info!

      Like

  5. if the right-wing press organizations aren’t legitimate in your eyes, doesn’t that put you on the same level with our president who calls more left leaning press unworthy of legitimacy? I think it’s a fair question and I also agree with you that it’s not the job of the president to legitimize certain media outlets while doing the opposite to others. The people should have that responsibility as they are the audience of the networks and those same networks have a responsibility to report the news without bias which a lot of them clearly do not. Remember, cnn was heard to have said that they couldn’t have given Hillary a more free ride and that they were clear supporters of her candidacy. A news organization is supposed to report the happenings and events in the country and the world to the public, not endorse or smere presidential candidates. When they do either of those two things, they lose credibility as legitimately objective sources of journalism.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It is indeed a fair question, and I erred in making a generalization like that. I was in rather a temper at the time, and should have specified. Fox is legitimate, though extremely slanted and not above an occasional faux bit of news. Breitbart and some like it, however, are 90% opinion, fake news, and say whatever Bannon tells them to. Make no mistake … Bannon may have stepped down from Breitbart, but he is still in the decision-making loop. I don’t see the New York Times, Washington Post, as left-leaning. They may appear that way, because these days the news is all about Trump & Co., and none of it is beneath reproach. As for CNN — I am not a huge fan, and I do not get any of my news from television, but they have done some decent reporting … been in front of a story that was legitimate and later confirmed by other outlets, so I give them some credit. But yes, I erred in the way I stated that, and I apologize. The fact remains, though, that the President cannot … simply cannot … pick and choose who gets to attend press briefings or any other media event. That is unconstitutional and I will fight that one tooth and nail.

      Like

      • The definition of Right and Left in this reference is not the same as it was 20 years ago. I always consider myself a Left-winger. Way-left! The New York Times and Washington Post, Newsweek, Times, and many others are indeed of the Left! I spent twenty years as a working journalist…for a daily mainstream newspaper which was Republican, therefore Right Wing. You are right about Bannon.. also I read yesterday or today that the assortment of cabinet heads were chosen deliberately to bring down the house of cards.

        Like

    • You make a good point with this. And to take it a step further, if all the sincere reporters boycott, then how will we ever know what is really coming out of the White House? Not that Spicer ever tells us anything much anyway, but still …. good point, Hugh!

      Like

      • Another thing: this man is expanding his power base daily. The Congress must act and act soon because the longer they wait to rid us of this man the harder it will be to do so. There are hopeful signs that the Democrats in Congress are starting to get riled up. Let’s hope it gains momentum. The citizens are demanding that something be done.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes … every day I wonder just what it is going to take before the Republicans in Congress snap awake and become courageous enough to stand up and say “ENOUGH!!!” It might help them if their supporters woke up and demanded they stop him, but the Democrats cannot do it alone …

          Like

  6. This is democracy trampled underfoot. Maybe it’s time the legitimate press started printing the alternate facts and fantasy they’ve been accused of. Maybe if they print that Trump was the big bad wolf in grandma’s bed waiting for Red Riding Hood, his followers will decide they don’t want him anymore.I hope some of the other agencies shared their news with The Times, CNN and Politico as well as Time and Associated Press.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • I was angry enough when I heard this news, angrier still as I was writing the post, but when a good friend defended the action by the White House, I went all-out livid! How can anybody not see this move for what it is? How can anybody defend it? I think it will not take long before that press that he calls “the enemy of the people” show him their teeth, just as the wolf did to poor Little Red Riding Hood! 😀 Thanks for the hugs!!! And huge hugs back to you! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

I would like to hear your opinion, so please comment if you feel so inclined.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s