The White House writes its own rules regarding the press, and they are fuming. The White House press corps vented deep frustration Monday with Press Secretary Sean Spicer. He conducted an off-camera briefing in place of the usual publicly broadcast briefings. The press was told it could not film or broadcast audio of the meeting.
“The White House press secretary is getting to a point where he’s just kind of useless,” CNN White House reporter Jim Acosta said after the briefing. “If they’re getting to this point where he’s not going to answer questions or go on camera or have audio, why are we even having these briefings or gaggles in the first place?”
This is another step in re-writing how the White House handles the press. They have also imposed restrictions on reporters’ use of audio and video feeds, invited Cabinet officials to speak only about specific policy issues, and freely rotated between Spicer and deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
This angers the press but makes Trump’s supporters gleeful. They view the media as what White House administrators have called the “opposition party.” When Time reporter Zeke Miller asked Spicer to explain “why our friends in radio and television can’t use this live,” he responded that the president had made comments at a photo opportunity with the Panamanian president and would make public comments later at a technology council meeting.
“There are days where we decide that the president’s voice should be the one who speaks for the administration,” Spicer said. The problem is that there are no opportunities for the press to question Trump or his officials at those events. Another reporter followed with this question, “On the days when you come out here, and there is not a camera, could you please ask the president to be ever so kind and step up here and answer some questions for us on that day?”
“I’ll be sure to share your sentiments with the president,” Spicer responded.
When veteran CNN reporter, Jim Acosta, shouted questions at Spicer, he refused to acknowledge him. Trump had been critical of CNN and Acosta at a February press conference calling what they do “fake news.” As Spicer was walking away, Acosta shouted, “It’s off-camera and you can’t answer questions?” He then went straight to TV and called the whole event “bizarre,” you can watch the video below. Acosta also lit up a Twitter firestorm. Do you think he’s still mad about reading the press gaggle wrong last week?
Credit: The Hill