Unbelievable! How is this even a thing? It seems the White House has barred some major news organizations from joining an informal, yet on-the-record press briefing. When I say major, I mean some pretty big media organizations too. The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and CNN, just to name a few.
You’ve Been Trumped!
Everyone’s favorite press secretary, Sean Spicer, invited a select group of news media just hours after President Donald Trump delivered a speech essentially blasting the media. Surprise, surprise. While other news organizations attempted to gain access, they were denied entry. Talk about trying to control the media! This is just utter and complete bull shit if you ask me. Trump can say what he will about the media. He can cry about how they focus on what he feels is “fake news”. God knows he will, but trying to control or punish the press is dangerous in my opinion and creates more problems in the long run.
Good on ya AP!
The Associated Press actually decided not to participate after learning of the White Houses move to restrict the number of journalists participating in the briefing. In a statement by the AP’s director of media relations, Lauren Easton said “The AP believes the public should have as much access to the president as possible”.
The explanation of the White House on this move was they felt “everyone was represented”. That just seems like a case of playing favorites to me. However when asked exactly that question, Spicer stated the White House has “shown an abundance of accessibility”. He apparently went on to say that he “disagreed with the premise of the question” and continuing with “We’ve brought more reporters into this process. And the idea that every time that every single person can’t get their question answered or fit in a room that we’re excluding people. We’ve actually gone above and beyond with making ourselves, our team, and our briefing room more accessible than probably any prior administration. And so I think you can take that to the bank.”
Control The Message
This kind of move is a bit scary to me. I believe the public has a right to know whats going on. The idea that the White House can filter who gets to funnels that information seems dangerous. That’s how it appears to the everyday person like myself. Perhaps (and probably) there is more to all of this then I know. Honestly I hope there is because, if accurate, then this approach seem less like a dialogue of transparency and more like an administration only interested in getting the kind of positive coverage they want.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.