Media elites howling as Trump admin considers expanding access to WH briefings beyond 49 elite insider journalists
The mainstream media declared war on the candidacy of Donald Trump, with the New York Times leading the way in a front-page opinion column arguing that “you have to throw out the textbook American journalism has been using for the better part of the past half-century” and discard notions of “balance.” Now the entitled media elites are discovering that there is a price to losing a war, as the Trump administration is considering the White House briefing room out of its current quarters, where only 52 members of the White House Correspondents Association can be accommodated.
The imperious media stars are not amused.
In Politico Magazine, Jim Schaefer snarks his way into yet another fake news claim:
Trump began the process of washing the press completely out of his fake hair[.]
Ahem: the president-elect teases and sprays his real hair into the design that so annoys Schaefer, and he even allowed a late-night show host to muss it up to see if it was a hairpiece. But expecting a Politico bigfoot writer to be aware of the facts before he dumps on Trump is expecting too much.
The U.K. Guardian is a bit less hysterical:
Talk radio hosts and bloggers could be invited to official White House press briefings once the Trump administration takes office, under a highly irregular proposal being floated that may also remove briefings from the West Wing.
Trump’s pick for White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, said on Sunday that due to “off the chart” interest in the new administration, the president-elect was considering moving briefings from the James S Brady press briefing room, which has been used by presidents to address the media since 1970, to a venue with a greater capacity.
A report published by Esquire magazine on Saturday indicated the venue could be inside the Old Executive Office Building, just west of the White House.
“I know change is difficult sometimes,” Spicer told Fox News. “But sometimes change can actually be better.”
Spicer argued the proposal would mean “you can involve more people, be more transparent, have more accessibility”. He suggested that this would mean outlets that are not traditionally part of the White House press corps would be able to ask questions during presidential press briefings.
“There’s a lot of talk radio and bloggers and people that can’t fit in right now and maybe don’t have a permanency because they’re not part of the Washington elite media,” Spicer said, “but to allow them an opportunity to ask the press secretary or the president a question is a positive thing. It’s more democratic.”
I will be up front about my own interest in the possible move. American Thinker wants access to White House briefings, and we have a correspondent who has agreed to take the job if plans move forward. The name of that correspondent is Clarice Feldman. As readers of this site know, she is smarter, is more knowledgeable, and has a better sense of humor than people like Jim Schaefer.
The media landscape has changed radically since the 1970s, when the current White House Briefing Room quarters were built on top of a swimming pool. There is absolutely no reason why the U.K. Guardian should have superior access to Breitbart, the Daily Caller, or American Thinker.
Maintaining an oligopoly can’t be good for news consumers. Free the White House Press Corps from the domination of old outlets. Will the elites deny access to their club to the new flood of “bloggers and talk radio” folks? If they do, they will lose the P.R. battle. And if they don’t, expect the flood of new members to change the nature of the WHCA away from an insiders’ cabal that sponsors the repulsive White Correspondence Association Dinner, aka the “nerd prom.”