[U.S]–During a press briefing by White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, on Friday, Feb 24, a handful of news organisations were barred from entering to cover the event, a move seen by many as one of President Donald Trump’s strategies to gag certain elements of the press.
Journalists representing CNN, The Times, BuzzFeed News and Politico were denied entry into the West Wing to Spicer’s office. T
he only organisations which were allowed entry were the right-leaning publications such as One America News Network, The Washington Times and Brietbart News, all with notably limited readership in contrast with the latter crop of organisations.
While voicing out his strong rebuke of this action, The Times executive editor, Dean Baquet, said, “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 news oganisations. Free media access to a transparent government is obviously of crucial national interest.”
Aligning with Dean Baquet’s views, the White House Correspondents’ Association which represents all organisations covering briefings at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, in a statement released through its president, Jeff Mason, said, “We encourage the organisations that were allowed in to share the material with others in the press corps who were not. [We] will be discussing this further with the White House staff.”
In a clap-back, CNN stated, “Apparently, this is how they retaliate when you report facts that they do not like.”
This happened only a few hours after Trump’s tirade at the Conservative Political Action Conference, during which he castigated the liberal media as “fake news” and dishonest reporters who used the First Amendment to defend their right to free speech.
CNN and The Times, in particular, have been on the receiving-end of Trump’s defamatory remarks since the 206 electoral period during which he claimed they had been manipulating the masses for his then-opponent Hilary Clinton’s sake.Please Follow Us @ThePageNg