Friday, February 24, 2017 10:57 pm
This move was long expected, given Donald Trump’s verbal bullets against the media during the campaigns and after he became president. Now the loose cannon is out, doing damage.
New York Times, CNN and Los Angeles Times and many other media were, according to NAN report, barred from attending Friday White House briefing, indicating an escalation in the relationship between the media and the young Trump administration.
Since he was sworn in on 20 January, Trump has been attacking the US media, deriding them as purveyors of ‘fake news’, ‘dishonest media’ and so on and had disputed several accounts published by the media.
Not trusting how they would treat his story, Trump last week addressed a rally in Florida.
Just today, Trump in Twitter posts blasted the FBI for not tracing the source of a leak of his administration’s links to Russia. The story was published by CNN on Thursday.
According to a report by Daily Beast, journalists have expressed outrage at today’s unusual move by the White House.
The Associated Press and Time magazine reportedly boycotted the briefing as a result of the ban of NYT and CNN.
White House spokesman, Spicer reportedly allowed sympathetic outlets into the gaggle—an informal question-and-answer session between a press secretary and journalists—including the Washington Times, Breitbart, all Republican and conservative organs and One America News Network.
Jeff Mason, the president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, said the consortium of reporters will “strongly protest” the move and further discuss it with White House press staffers.
“This is an unacceptable development by the Trump White House,” CNN said in a statement.
“Apparently this is how they retaliate when you report facts they don’t like. We’ll keep reporting regardless.”
Dean Baquet, executive editor of The New York Times, issued a similar statement:
“Nothing like this has ever happened at the White House in our long history of covering multiple administrations of different parties. We strongly protest the exclusion of The New York Times and the other news organisations. Free media access to a transparent government is obviously of crucial national interest.”