CNN, New York Times, LA Times, Politico have all been blocked from the White House. The move apparently is in “protest,” as the President doubled down on his tweet, repeating today during his speech to a conservative group, that the media is the enemy of the American people. He did allow Breitbart, The Washington Times, and One America News network were allowed in.
This is completely out of the norm. Completely. The White House daily briefing isn’t happening. Instead, they set up a “list,” and despite CNN signing up for that list they were stopped from entering the group of reporters called a “gaggle.” The White House has allowed only news outlets into the gaggle of press today that have a reputation for being “more favorable” to Trump. Well, to be real, Breitbart helped create Trump.
This is extremely important as Trump is now hand-picking news outlets in what looks like an attempt to assure himself flattering coverage and easy questions. This is not what our press is supposed to do, they are supposed to dig, to ask questions and to provide the American people with the story, not to pass the propagandized message directly from the White House to the people in a pretty package.
This off-camera grouping will be free from independent corroboration. The reporters allowed in are all known to be more favorable to Trump — that poses a significant problem.
AP and Time magazine are boycotting the gaggle.
It is unacceptable. Though this is not a complete ban, it is a troubling first step towards a future that looks bleak for the press if it continues in this way.
“Freedom of the press is not just important to democracy. It is democracy.”– Walter Cronkite
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