|Actual photo of Sean Spicer during this briefing. No, really.|
Journalists from The New York Times and several other news organizations were prohibited from attending a briefing by President Trump’s press secretary on Friday, a highly unusual breach of relations between the White House and its press corps.
Reporters from The Times, BuzzFeed News, CNN, The Los Angeles Times and Politico were not allowed to enter the West Wing office of the press secretary, Sean M. Spicer, for the scheduled briefing. Aides to Mr. Spicer only allowed in reporters from a handpicked group of news organizations that, the White House said, had been previously confirmed.
Those organizations included Breitbart News, the One America News Network and The Washington Times, all with conservative leanings. Journalists from ABC, CBS, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and Fox News also attended.
Reporters from Time magazine and The Associated Press, who were set to be allowed in, chose not to attend the briefing in protest of the White House’s actions.
“Nothing like this has ever happened at the White House in our long history of covering multiple administrations of different parties,” Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The Times, said in a statement. “We strongly protest the exclusion of The New York Times and the other news organizations. Free media access to a transparent government is obviously of crucial national interest.”
You know this isn't a campaign event where a candidate might want to keep certain critical new outlets out of the loop. This is a freaking White House briefing.
And isn't it interesting that it seems to be the organizations who have really done the most work on the Russia/Trump connection that are being blocked?
This is essentially the Trump administration showing their cowardice and that they are terrified of what the free press will reveal next about them.
So much for Donald Trump's supposed tough guy credibility.
At least one organization that WAS allowed into the briefing voiced outrage:
"The Wall Street Journal strongly objects to the White House's decision to bar certain media outlets from today's gaggle," a Journal spokesman said. "Had we known at the time, we would not have participated and we will not participate in such closed briefings in the future."
You know it is getting hard to tell if Sean Spicer is becoming more and more like the caricature of him played by Melissa McCarthy on SNL, or if he was this way from the beginning, and it is only becoming more obvious.
Yeah, I'm stumped.