A number of established, and not-so-established, media outlets were blocked by the Trump White House on Friday. Major news organizations such The New York Times, CNN, BBC, LA Times, and others were forbidden from attending a White House press conference.
As reported at The Independent, officials approved media outlets that have provided favorable coverage for the Trump administration, and they were allowed entry.
In a show of solidarity, some high-profile media outlets, including the Associated Press and TIME magazine boycotted the briefing to show their disapproval of Trump’s dictatorial move.
The White House Correspondents’ Association came out to criticize this frightening obstruction of a free press by the Trump White House. Association President Jeff Mason released a statement saying:
“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.”
The ban follows a speech a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Friday morning wherein House Resident Donald Trump once again called the press an “enemy of the American people.” Quoted in The New York Times, one of the banned media outlets, Trump told the CPAC audience:
“I want you all to know that we are fighting the fake news. It’s fake, phony, fake. They have a professional obligation as members of the press to report honestly. But as you saw throughout the entire campaign, and even now, the fake news doesn’t tell the truth.”
On Thursday, Trump’s White House Chief Strategist and Nationalist advocate Steve Bannon issued what could only be considered a declaration of war with the press during his speech at the conference. Frequently referring to media outlets as the “opposition party,” Bannon told the audience:
“It’s not going to get better, it’s going to get worse. They are adamantly opposed. Adamantly opposed to [the] economic nationalist agenda like Donald Trump has. It’s going to get worse because he’s going to continue to press his agenda… If you think they’re going to give the country back without a fight, you are sadly mistaken. Every day, every day is going to be a fight.”
The White House offered no explanation as to why these media outlets were banned from the press briefing.
Also banned were small outlets, such as POLITICO and BuzzFeed, both of which have published negative articles about the former reality TV show host, his political incompetence, and his shady practices.
Permitted into the briefing, according to CNN Money, were alt-right fake news site Breitbart, conservative news organization The Washington Times, and One America News.
The Hill reports this disturbing even as “highly unusual,” noting that White House press briefings are typically open to all reports. The White House sent out an updated scheduling on Friday morning saying it would hand-pick which reporters in the usual press corps would be permitted to attend the briefing.
This is yet another autocratic move from the Trump administration, which seems to have launched a wholesale war against the due process of law and constitutional rights. Every sensitive to the mounting criticism, it seems Trump is taking steps to keep the unbiased truth from the American people.
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