Well, it looks like Donald Trump has shut CNN and the New York Times out of the cool-kids club (a White House briefing) because he turns into an anger bear over critical reporting. Soon enough, that list grew to include the LA Times, Buzzfeed, and the BBC. Sean Spicer’s daily presser rarely goes off without a hitch, but this seems more than a little silly. And scary.
Noah Bierman of the LA Times first popped out an alert on Twitter. He revealed how the news outlets that Trump despises the most weren’t allowed to enter … whereas right-leaning outlets like Breitbart, One America News Network, and the Washington Times were all welcomed to enjoy live Spicey.
Igor Volksy soon chimed in to reveal that the Associated Press and Time boycotted the event because the other outlets were blocked. Developments came fast and furious on Twitter, and Politico’s Kelsey Sutton gave the final tally. NBC and ABC did attend the event. Here’s a visual to tie this together.
The New York Times quickly weighed in with a statement to call attention to the unprecedented nature of this act:
“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 organizations. Free media access to a transparent government is obviously of crucial national interest.”
CNN also issued a statement while vowing to continue doing their job:
“This is an unacceptable development by the Trump White House. Apparently this is how they retaliate when you report facts they don’t like. We’ll keep reporting regardless.”
Meanwhile, the White House Correspondents Association has condemned the White House’s handling of the issue:
“The WHCA board is protesting strongly against how today’s gaggle is being handled by the White House. We encourage the organizations that were allowed in to share the material with others in the press corps who were not. The board will be discussing this further with White House staff.”
So, why today? This must be Trump’s dictator-like response to the FBI refusing to bury reports about Russia that reflect poorly upon the White House. He’s upset about negative stories that were reported by both CNN and the New York Times, which has only increased Trump’s habit of yelling “fake news” (and worse) during combative press conferences.
A week ago, Trump characterized the media as “the enemy of the people.” He continued that theme during a Friday CPAC speech while calling CNN the “CIinton News Network.” If Trump believes that these outlets will now stop covering him critically — because he physically shut them out — well, he’s in for some more disappointment.