White House Correspondents Association protests exclusion of CNN reporter from one event following rude behavior
The latest kerfuffle between the Trump administration and CNN – the television network that is implacably hostile to Trump – has united the media accredited to the White House.
CNN said on Wednesday that one of its White House correspondents, Kaitlin Collins, was excluded from covering one of President Donald Trump's events on Wednesday, prompting a complaint by the White House Correspondents Association.
Collins was barred from a Rose Garden event for asking questions at an earlier event about an audio recording of Trump purportedly discussing with his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, a fund being established to pay a former Playboy model, Karen McDougal, for keeping quiet about an alleged affair with Trump.
Collins asked about the audio recording in a picture-taking session in the Oval Office as Trump met with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
CNN said in a statement that Collins was told by White House communications director Bill Shine and press secretary Sarah Sanders that her questions had been "inappropriate" and that she could not attend an event later in the Rose Garden during which Trump and Juncker announced a joint working dialogue on trade.
The question clearly was unrelated to the event taking pace and to the guest at the White House. In a court of law, it would be ruled out of order. The reporter was actually disruptive:
In a statement that did not name Collins, Sanders said that a reporter had shouted questions and refused to leave at the conclusion of an Oval Office press event "despite repeatedly being asked to do so."
But, according to the norms that journalists want to follow, a one-time punishment of the questioner attempting to disrupt focus on the event underway is unacceptable. Thus:
Olivier Knox, president of the White House Correspondents Association, denounced the White House decision.
"We strongly condemn the White House's misguided and inappropriate decision today to bar one of our members from an open press event after she asked questions they did not like," Knox said in a statement.
Recall that the White House Correspondents' Association invited purported comedian Michelle Wolf to savagely personally attack President Trump and Sarah Sanders at its headline event this year. Regarding them as a hostile entity is certainly justified.
And Fox News, with worries about future Democrat presidents excluding it:
Jay Wallace, president of Fox News, which is frequently praised by Trump, expressed support for CNN.
No doubt, there will be hysterical denunciations of the White House as totalitarians for punishing rude behavior by a correspondent with a one-time exclusion.
However, as Michael J. Morrison reminds us, President Obama threw out a reporter to cheers:
FLASHBACK: Obama threw a reporter out for asking a question he wasn't happy with and the rest of the media was cheering him on. pic.twitter.com/nlwVrwUrN3— Michael J. Morrison (@OfficeOfMike) July 26, 2018