Reince Priebus signals big changes for White House Press Corps
Elections have consequences, as Barack Obama boldly stated following his election as president in 2008. Those words, celebrated by the left, including the White House Press Corps majority, now must seem ominous to many. President-Elect Trump’s chief of staff, Reince Priebus, is letting the grandees of the White House Press Corps know that a new sheriff is in town, and big changes lie ahead. Pam Key of Breitbart writes about what he told radio host Hugh Hewitt yesterday:
HEWITT: Last two questions have to do with the media. First of all, instead of that boring Saturday morning radio address, I think the President should do a Friday morning drive time nationally syndicated show each week, you know, in the morning when you can shape news. Don’t you agree?
PRIEBUS: Well, you know, what? Look, I think that many things have to change, and I think that it’s important that we look at all of those traditions that are great, but quite frankly, as you know, don’t really make news…
PRIEBUS: And they’re just sort of…
HEWITT: It’s horrible.
PRIEBUS: …mundane, boring episodes. And you know, even looking at things like the daily White House briefing from the press secretary, I mean, there’s a lot of different ways that things can be done, and I can assure you we’re looking at that.
HEWITT: And that brings me, Glenn Thrush on Wednesday said there is worry in the White House Press Corps that they’re going to do away with the traditional bullpen, the upstairs, the downstairs. Now I do want the front row given over to Salem Media, but what do you, what are the plans for the press corps and that traditional approach?
PRIEBUS: We’re, and I hate blowing things off, because I’m not doing it on purpose, it just so happens that we’re actually talking about those things right now. And what the new tradition, I guess you could say, should be in the Trump White House. You know, this was the first front row assigned seat issue, as I understand it, started in the Obama administration. In the Bush administration, you just took a seat, and I guess there were a couple of people that have had reserved spots. But for the most part, the more formalized reserved seating piece came in over the last eight years. That issue is being talked about. The point of all of this conversation is that the traditions, while some of them are great, I think it’s time to revisit a lot of these things that have been done in the White House, and I can assure you that change is going to happen, even on things that might seem boring like this topic, but also change as far as how we’re going to approach tax reform, the American worker, how we protect them and business all at the same time why skyrocketing our economy.
It is very interesting that the Obama White House imposed a hierarchy on the press corps in seating at briefings. But there are many other changes that must be under consideration. How about expanding the WHPC to include alterative media?
Adolfo Fabregat raises an interesting question:
The question I haven't seen asked yet that I think it is obvious:
Will Trump attend the White House Correspondents dinner next April? And who would be the "guest comedian"?
Would the "correspondents" cancel the dinner? Just to spite Trump.
But if they don't, would you advise Trump to attend?
I doubt very much that the dinner would be canceled by the White House Correspondents’ Association. My understanding is that the dinner is a major source of funds, which are donated to scholarships mostly. But the evening also establishes that a president is subject to mockery by those assigned to cover him. It is a ritual humbling of our political leaders and, on that ground, a good thing for a republic.
Face it: with a few notable exceptions (Fox News, mostly) the correspondents are leftists, like their bosses, marinated in contemporary journalistic culture which leans far left. They are not equal opportunity mockers.
It has been bandied about that the reason Donald Trump ran for president was mockery he endured at a years-ago White House Correspondents dinner. Maybe so, but I think he had other ideas in mind.
It would not be unthinkable if Trump declined to attend the dinner this year, which would certainly take a lot of wind out of the sails of the WHCA. Who is going to buy expensive tickets if POTUS doesn’t come?
No doubt he would be savaged if he declined to attend. But of course he is constantly savaged by the media, so that would not be a decisive factor.
Stay tuned. This is going to be very interesting.