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.