The White House on Friday barred several major media outlets form an informal briefing with Press Secretary Sean Spicer, CNN reports. CNN, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Politico, BuzzFeed and most of the attending foreign press were blocked from participating, and the Associated Press and Time boycotted the gaggle. NBC, ABC and FOX, alongside conservative outlets like Breitbart and the Washington Times were permitted to attend. Jeff Mason, Reuters White House correspondent and board member for the White House Correspondents’ association issued a statement “protesting strongly” the administrations’ handling of the briefing.
According to ABC News, whose representatives were not blocked from attending, Press Secretary Spicer explained that the reason why the aforementioned media houses were denied entry to the press conference was because “they always leak classified info from these things to the public.” “It might be redundant for me to point this out, but that’s not what the purpose of these press conferences really is,” Spicer reportedly said. “If you want to attend and represent your organizations, then you need to follow the rules of the game like everybody else; otherwise, what’s the point? We might as well just step out onto the White House lawn and have a gathering there so that people who are walking down the street can hear us as well.”
Asked to elaborate on why only the liberal media representatives were denied access, while conservative reporters were allowed to attend, Spicer argued, “that’s like asking Kim Jong Un why he likes the Chinese and hates Americans.” “There’s an old joke that’s been around in political circles since forever. It goes something like, how do you tell the difference between a conservative reporter and a liberal one? Easy: the former will always be asking questions about his country and state of things in it, while the latter will always be talking about what a lousy job the Republican president is doing,” he said. “And I don’t know about you, but I’m fed up with being asked about how come Donald Trump is president instead of answering questions that have to do with what’s changed since Barack Obama.”
Answering a question regarding whether it was President Donald Trump who gave the order to ban liberal media from the press conference, Spicer said that it was, “though he didn’t initiate the idea.” “Truth be told, there were several of us – I’m talking about the staff – who have been thinking about it for quite some time now, but were reluctant to act sooner because the climate wasn’t favorable,” he added. “Recently, however, we noticed that the blocked media houses have amplified their attacks on the President, which is why we took advantage of the situation. All in all, now they’re going to have to work a lot harder than before to get the juicy material required to generate their viral fake news.”
“They’ve gone completely berserk, I honestly have never seen anything like this before. If we had had this sort of situation back in the 1960s, when the CIA was trying to assassinate Castro, he would not have had to do anything other than turn on the TV and switch over to the live White House broadcast in order to learn of our plans. Fast-forward 50-something years and you realize why leaking important information from White House press conferences is inexcusable. After all – why do you think Putin, tons of Arab sheiks and Kim Jong Un are all still alive? We’re slipping and it’s all the liberal media’s fault,” he concluded.