The White House on Friday barred reporters from numerous major media outlets from participating in a regularly scheduled press briefing.
Reporters from the BBC, CNN, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Politico were all refused access to an off-camera press briefing by Sean Spicer, President Donald Trump’s press secretary.
BECAUSE THERE ALL FAKE NEWS.
This is a massive step towards reducing the amount of fake news. As these media organisation constantly lie and slander President Trump constantly.
A White House spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.
CNN’s political reporter Sara Murray confirmed that CNN has been blocked from attending a White House press briefing this morning.
Looks like @BrianStelter was right when he pointed out Trump's comments today "we're gonna do something about the media" — CNN just blocked
— Jason Morrell (@CNNJason) February 24, 2017
CNN, New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Politico shut out of White House gaggle with Sean Spicer today. WHCA protesting
— Ram Ramgopal (@RamCNN) February 24, 2017
Today the White House is handpicking the news outlets they're allowing into the gaggle with @PressSec. CNN was blocked from attending.
— Sara Murray (@SaraMurray) February 24, 2017
Other media organizations, news executives and journalistic groups also publicly objected to being shut out. The New York Times‘ Dean Baquet said in a statement that it was unprecedented in the paper’s history of covering administrations of both parties.
“Free media access to a transparent government is obviously of crucial national interest,” Baquet said. The White House Correspondents’ Association and the National Press Club also weighed in.
Those excluded called it “absolutely unacceptable” and described it as an attack on the freedom of the press.
— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) February 24, 2017
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) February 24, 2017
However, as the New York Times itself reported in 2015, President Barack Obama met privately with liberal reporters and columnists frequently throughout his tenure in office
Obama’s private briefings for liberal members of the media, which excluded conservatives, were well-documented. A few:
- December 2012: Several journalists reported that MSNBC hosts were meeting privately with President Obama to discuss the impending “fiscal cliff” fight.
- May 2013: NPR’s Ari Shapiro reported that President Obama was meeting privately with “lefty columnists,” but hastened to add that there was “nothing nefarious” about it.
- November 2013: President Obama met again with liberal journalists, as Obamacare struggled with the failure of healthcare.gov and other problems.
- March 2015: Politico’s media reporter, Hadas Gold, reported that “a group of journalists and columnists,” all on the left, met privately with President Obama, but the White House refused to say “who else was at the meeting or what was discussed.”