Just one example is that despite then-President Barack Obama’s self-serving declarations his would be the most transparent administration in history, in 2015 there was a backlog of 160,000 requests for US government documents that went unanswered. Journalism has always been considered the fourth estate in a sound democracy, and banning typically well-respected media outlets from press briefings poses a serious threat to maintaining any facade of government transparency.
Shearer said she does not expect the blocking of media outlets to continue; however, she discussed how some other news outlets have said they will not attend if their colleagues are deliberately excluded, which has risky implications as well.
President Donald Trump has every right and even the responsibility to point out errors and inaccuracies in news reporting on his administration. Trump has recently called any reports about possible connections between the Trump administration and Russian Federation “fake news” in attempts to rebuke news reports investigating the potential connection. During last week’s Conservative Public Action Conference, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and chief White House political strategist Stephen Bannon tried to knock down reports they were at odds, saying they work well together and share a suite of offices. Politico broke the story, multiple news outlets confirmed it and President Donald Trump, when asked about the phone check in a televised interview Tuesday morning, seemed to acknowledge use of the tactic by answering, “I would have handled it differently than Sean, but Sean handles it his way and I’m OK with it”. John McCain as pointed out, “it’s how dictators get started”, -but what was especially odd about the speech at CPAC was that several of boos came from within a hall cordoned off for credentialed reporters. Pliant murmurings by the likes of Vice President Mike Pence who spoke vaguely earlier this month about the virtues of a free press while tacitly affirming Trump’s elision of real and fake news are useless. A great danger to our country.
King wondered if how much trust – if any – reporters should give the White House. “But don’t forget, we have people from other campaigns, we have people from other governments. Nothing more than that”.
Read the whole report about leaks and emergency “meetings” HERE.
White House briefings are an integral part of this protection. It was my decision to decide to expand the pool. Media organizations should consider creating new beats to focus on relations between the White House and the media, ensuring that the story is not lost, but also that Trump’s attacks do not distract from coverage of other issues. (Especially when that coverage was bound to note, a la the clips below, that he didn’t mention his big immigration reform plans to Congress.) Why would he have cared about three hours of positive chatter on immigration when he was headed for 24 hours of positive chatter for a totally different reason, as he must have known after reading the draft of his address?
The First Amendment protects freedom of speech, and the press.
“It’s not acceptable”, CNN anchor Jake Tapper said on his afternoon programme. As the White House delegitimizes the media writ-large, it is propping up these conspiracy theorists, fringe rightwing platforms, and lobbyists with access and power once reserved for major press institutions. “The word is ‘un-American'”.
Banned from the event were The New York Times, CNN, The Los Angeles Times, the BBC, The Huffington Post, Politico and BuzzFeed News.