Politics

Major Media Outlets Barred From White House Q&A (Videos)

| by Michael Allen

The White House denied access for several major media news outlets to a question-and-answer session, or "gaggle," with press secretary Sean Spicer on Feb. 24 (video below).

According to The Hill, the banned news outlets included its own website, The New York Times, POLITICO, BuzzFeed News, Daily Mail, BBC News, Los Angeles Times and the New York Daily News.

The news organizations that were prevented from attending included Breitbart News, Washington Times, One America News Network, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News, Reuters, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal and McClatchy News Service.

The Associated Press and TIME were allowed to attend, but boycotted on behalf of the banned outlets.

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Kenneth P. Vogel of POLITICO tweeted a video of Spicer from December 2016 and this caption: "FLASHBACK: [Sean Spicer] in Dec. says Trump WH won't ban specific media outlets. 'That's what makes a democracy a democracy vs a dictatorship.'"

RawStory.com notes there was condemnation on Twitter by journalists.

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough tweeted: "All news organizations must refuse to attend briefings where major outlets are excluded because of critical coverage."

Emily Ramshaw of the Texas Tribune wrote: "If your news organization isn't protesting this behavior, you're part of the problem."

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CNN's Jake Tapper wrote: "Said it in 2009 & again today: Inappropriate for any White House to decide which news outlets are acceptable."

Tapper also addressed the White House's actions during his CNN show "The Lead":

Let’s not make any mistake about what’s happening here. A White House that has had some difficulty telling the truth and that has seemed to have trouble getting up to speed on the basic competent functioning of government, and a president who seems particularly averse to any criticism and has called the press "the enemies of the American people," they are taking the next step in attempting to avoid checks and balances and accountability. It’s not acceptable. In fact, it’s petulant and indicative of lack of a basic understanding for how an adult White House functions.

The Washington Post was allowed into the gaggle, recorded Spicer's meeting with media and leaked it (video below).

White House Principal deputy press secretary Sarah Sanders insisted the gaggle with Spicer was normal, notes POLITICO. "We invited the pool so everyone was represented. We decided to add a couple of additional people beyond the pool. Nothing more than that," Sanders said.

Sources: The HillKenneth P. Vogel/Twitter, RawStory.com, CNN via YouTubeThe Washington PostPOLITICO / Photo Credit: VOA/Wikimedia Commons

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