White House bars sev­eral news out­lets from brief­ing

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - LYNN ELBER

News or­ga­ni­za­tions in­clud­ing The New York Times, the Los An­ge­les Times, CNN and Politico were blocked from join­ing an in­for­mal, on-the-record White House press brief­ing on Fri­day.

The As­so­ci­ated Press chose not to par­tic­i­pate af­ter White House press sec­re­tary Sean Spicer re­stricted the num­ber of jour­nal­ists present for the brief­ing. Typ­i­cally, the daily brief­ing is tele­vised and open to all news or­ga­ni­za­tions who have re­ceived ap­proval to cover the White House.

“The AP be­lieves the public should have as much ac­cess to the pres­i­dent as pos­si­ble,” Lauren Eas­ton, the AP’s direc­tor of me­dia re­la­tions, said in a state­ment.

On Fri­day, hours af­ter Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump de­liv­ered a speech blast­ing the me­dia, Spicer in­vited only a pool of news or­ga­ni­za­tions that rep­re­sents and shares re­port­ing with the larger press corps. He also in­vited sev­eral other ma­jor news out­lets, as well as smaller or­ga­ni­za­tions, in­clud­ing the con­ser­va­tive web­site Bre­it­bart News, whose for­mer ex­ec­u­tive chair, Steve Ban­non, is Trump’s chief strate­gist. When ad­di­tional news or­ga­ni­za­tions that in­cluded The New York Times, the Los An­ge­les Times, CNN and Politico at­tempted to gain ac­cess, they weren’t al­lowed to en­ter.

The White House said it felt “ev­ery­one was rep­re­sented” by those in the pool and the in­vited or­ga­ni­za­tions.

“We de­cided to add a cou­ple of ad­di­tional peo­ple be­yond the pool. Noth­ing more than that,” said White House spokesper­son Sarah San­ders.

When asked by a re­porter whether he was play­ing f avourites, Spicer said the White House had “shown an abun­dance of ac­ces­si­bil­ity,” ac­cord­ing to an audio record­ing later cir­cu­lated by the pool.

The pool was com­prised of Reuters, Bloomberg, CBS, Hearst News­pa­pers and CBS Ra­dio. Oth­ers in the news pool were Fox, NBC and ABC. Bloomberg re­ported that its re­porter was un­aware of the ex­clu­sions un­til af­ter the pool brief­ing.

Spicer dis­agreed he was play­ing favourites. “We’ve brought more re­porters into this process. And the idea that ev­ery time that ev­ery sin­gle per­son can’t get their ques­tion an­swered or fit in a room — that we’re ex­clud­ing peo­ple. We’ve ac­tu­ally gone above and be­yond with mak­ing our­selves, our team, and our brief­ing room more ac­ces­si­ble than prob­a­bly any prior ad­min­is­tra­tion. And so I think you can take that to the bank.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.