White House shuts out major outlets from daily presser
The White House broke with standard operating procedure Friday afternoon when press secretary Sean Spicer decided to forgo his daily televised press briefing, aka that gripping TV show where Spicer barely contains his inner boiling cauldron of rage, in favor of a smaller off-camera “gaggle” held in his office.
The smaller venue means that space was limited and only select outlets were invited to attend. The lucky outlets granted access to the briefing included pro-conservative propaganda sites like Breitbart and One America News Network and newspapers like The Washington Times. Outlets that have routinely broken stories on topics like the Trump administration’s ties to Russia, like CNN, BuzzFeed, and the New York Times, were barred from attending. Politico, The Hill, the Daily Mail, BBC News, the Los Angeles Times, and the New York Daily News were also given the Heisman.
Correspondents from CNN and BBC News are among the journalists who have had the distinct honor of being called “fake news” to their faces by the president in pressers. Several members of the administration, including Trump himself, have called BuzzFeed fake news after publishing the notorious piss dossier. It doesn’t take Columbo to figure out that President Trump is blocking access to anyone that challenges claims that his daily shit show of an administration is running like anything other than a finely tuned machine.
Associated Press and Time magazine boycotted the gaggle in solidarity with their peers, but outlets like NBC, ABC, CBS, and Reuters are taking some heat for attending the closed door briefing despite their colleagues getting singled out.
— Elizabeth Landers (@ElizLanders) February 24, 2017
Despite widespread reports of a discriminatory gaggle White House deputy communications director Raj Shah offered a bullshit denial, that any outlets were denied access to the briefing.
White House Deputy Comms. Dir. Raj Shah denies reports of a gaggle block against CNN, NYT, Politico and others: pic.twitter.com/XzgfQJ25w3
— ErikWemple (@ErikWemple) February 24, 2017
Who did the White House add? The Daily Stormer?
The White House Correspondents’ Association is not pleased with the prospect of reporters getting banned from briefings.
From The Hill:
“The WHCA board is protesting strongly against how today’s gaggle is being handled by the White House,” Jeff Mason, the association’s president, said in a statement.
“We encourage the organizations that were allowed in to share the material with others in the press corps who were not,” he added. “The board will be discussing this further with White House staff.”
Death and Taxes also was not granted access to the briefing, but we will refuse to attend in solidarity with our peers. That’s just who we are.