Toronto - The New York Times, CNN, the LA Times and Politico were all refused access on Friday to a White House briefing held in press secretary Sean Spicer’s office.
Toronto – The New York Times, CNN, the LA Times and Politico were all refused access on Friday to a White House briefing held in press secretary Sean Spicer’s office.
All four news organizations were barred from entering the briefing being held in the office of press secretary, Sean Spicer. It was a move unprecedented in recent White House memory.
Earlier in the day, Trump delivered a speech to the Conservative Political Action Committee in Oxon Hill, Maryland. Once again, he levelled a fierce verbal attack against his favourite target, the “fake news media.” He also singled out the use of anonymous sources, a time-honoured journalistic tradition.
New York Times executive editor, Dean Baquet, issued a statement in reaction to the paper’s extraordinary exclusion. “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 other free news organizations. Free media access to a transparent government is obviously of crucial national interest.”
Their’s wasn’t the only reaction. CNN also responded, issuing a statement calling the move “an unacceptable development by the Trump White House.” It continued, saying “Apparently, this is how they retaliate when you report facts they don’t like. We’ll keep reporting regardless.”
As for those news agencies who were allowed into the briefing, the abbreviated list included Breitbart News, the Washington Times, Fox News, ABC, CBS and Bloomberg. The Associated Press and Time magazine were allowed access but made the decision to boycott the briefing in protest. AP tweeted that it “believes the public should have as much access to the president as possible.”
In another statement, the White House Correspondents Association stated they would be discussing the incident further with White House staff. They also took the opportunity to “encourage the organizations that were allowed in to share the material with others in the press corps who were not.”