Donald Trump bans CNN, The New York Times, and Politico from press briefing
The mainstream media is up in arms because Donald Trump banned CNN, Politico, and The New York Times from a press briefing earlier today. CNN went so far as to claim Donald Trump was “cherry picking” questions. To be honest I am not in favor of banning these organizations, I would rather the administration take them on face to face, however the left is acting as if nothing like this has ever happened before.
But it has, and not all that long ago. I still remember Barack Obama saying people who watched Fox News (he did not name Fox News but everybody knew who he was talking about) the wrong news organization and I remember him not taking questions from Fox News. The mainstream media has been upset at the Trump administration for not taking questions from liberal news outlets at his press conferences but they seem to have forgotten about this. But this is only the beginning…
On the issue of “cherry picking” the New York Times once reported this about Barack Obama:
However, as the New York Times itself reported in 2015, President Barack Obama met privately with liberal reporters and columnists frequently throughout his tenure in office — “more than a dozen” times. And although he occasionally invited conservative columnists, “Liberal-leaning columnists from newspapers tend to dominate at Mr. Obama’s secret sessions.”
Obama’s private briefings for liberal members of the media, which excluded conservatives, were well-documented. A few:
December 2012: Several journalists reported that MSNBC hosts were meeting privately with President Obama to discuss the impending “fiscal cliff” fight.
May 2013: NPR’s Ari Shapiro reported that President Obama was meeting privately with “lefty columnists,” but hastened to add that there was “nothing nefarious” about it.
November 2013: President Obama met again with liberal journalists, as Obamacare struggled with the failure of healthcare.gov and other problems.
March 2015: Politico’s media reporter, Hadas Gold, reported that “a group of journalists and columnists,” all on the left, met privately with President Obama, but the White House refused to say “who else was at the meeting or what was discussed.”
What was this if it was not an attempt to create the narrative–or should I say create propaganda. This is slightly different from what Donald Trump did because in this case the media was in cahoots with the President, but it is not altogether different because he did not meet with conservative news outlets in private.
And then there was this:
Dozens of leading news organizations are protesting to the White House against restrictions that sometimes keep journalists from taking pictures and video of President Obama performing official duties. At the same time, two press groups urged their members to stop using official photos and video handed out by the White House, dismissing them as little more than “government propaganda.”
The news organizations’ letter to White House press secretary Jay Carney detailed a number of recent examples in which photographers weren’t allowed to cover presidential events that were deemed “private” by administration officials — even though the White House indicated their newsworthiness by releasing its own photos of the same events.
“As surely as if they were placing a hand over a journalist’s camera lens, officials in this administration are blocking the public from having an independent view of important functions of the executive branch of government,” the letter states, adding that the restrictions imposed by the Obama White House represent a major break from the practices of past administrations.
The news organizations said Thursday that the White House limits on access raise constitutional concerns about infringement on First Amendment press freedoms and have “a direct and adverse impact on the public’s ability to independently monitor and see what its government is doing.”
During the campaign Donald Trump threatened to sue the press if they wrote anything he disagreed with and while I found that to be frightening the left seems to have forgotten that Barack Obama was actually spying on Fox News reporter James Rosen.
Here is what Fox News had to say about that back in the day:
Fox News responds with a blistering statement that asserts Rosen was “simply doing his job” in his role as “a member of what up until now has always been a free press.”
As I said above, I do not think banning news organizations is the answer. Donald Trump thinks this makes him look tough but I think it makes him look weak and unwilling to confront what he called the “enemy of the people” to their faces. But when I hear the media claiming this is “unprecedented” I have to remind them that this is nothing new.
Perhaps CNN should ask James Rosen what it means to be truly targeted by the government for not toeing the official party line.
malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium