"I want you all to know we are fighting the fake news - fixed, phony, fake"
Reporters for media outlets dubbed “fake news” by US President Donald Trump were upset Friday after they did not receive an invite to an informal White House press briefing.
CNN not let in to Spicer gaggle today.— Adrian Carrasquillo (@Carrasquillo) February 24, 2017
Breitbart, Washington Times, One America Network got into the gaggle.— Adrian Carrasquillo (@Carrasquillo) February 24, 2017
No CNN, New York Times, BuzzFeed News, Politico.— Adrian Carrasquillo (@Carrasquillo) February 24, 2017
Los Angeles Times reporter Noah Bierman, whose outlet had just been praised by President Trump at the 2017 CPAC conference, tweeted a photo of reporters excluded from attending the gaggle.Expanded pool and “some select invites” sure did include a lot of right wing outlets and left out major news orgs.— Adrian Carrasquillo (@Carrasquillo) February 24, 2017
CNN and the “failing” New York Times each put out statements claiming they were outraged by the “unacceptable development,” with the former positing the administration’s decision was “retaliation” for reporting “facts they don’t like.”Reporters held out of today’s White House briefing. pic.twitter.com/8uqelMjrtp— Noah Bierman (@Noahbierman) February 24, 2017
“This is an unacceptable development by the Trump White House. Apparently this is how they retaliate when you report facts they don’t like. We’ll keep reporting regardless,” a statement from CNN said.
Dean Baquet, executive editor at the New York Times, wrote, “Nothing like this has ever happened at the White House in our long history of covering multiple administrations of different parties. We strongly protest the exclusion of The New York Times and the other news organizations. Free media access to a transparent government is obviously of crucial national interest.”
Asked whether CNN and The New York Times were blocked because the administration was unhappy with their reporting, Spicer responded: “Because we had it as pool, and then we expanded it, and we added some folks to come cover it. It was my decision to expand the pool.”
The Associated Press – who last week misreported a story alleging Trump had tapped the National Guard as a deportation force – and Time Magazine – whose reporter erroneously tweeted that Trump had removed the bust of Martin Luther King, Jr., from the Oval Office – both boycotted the presser in protest.
Other outlets who were not invited to the briefing include The Hill, Politico, New York Daily News, the UK’s Daily Mail, and the BBC. Reporters from media outlets considered “mainstream” who attended included, “ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, Reuters, Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal and McClatchy,” according to The Hill.AP and Time boycotted the gaggle today because of the way it was handled.— Adrian Carrasquillo (@Carrasquillo) February 24, 2017
The Wall Street Journal later put out a statement claiming they would have boycotted along with the AP and Time had they been made aware of the issue:
“The Wall Street Journal strongly objects to the White House’s decision to bar certain media outlets from today’s gaggle. Had we known at the time, we would not have participated and we will not participate in such closed briefings in the future.”
The White House struck back at claims that they were vindictively excluding outlets in a statement from spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham, arguing, “Claims that outlets were excluded are not factual.”
“The pool was there, so various media mediums were represented,” Grisham stated.
The Guardian reports: “The pool is a system by which a small group of reporters take turns covering the president and share their reports of his activities with a larger group.”
Audio of the “on-the-record but off-camera” interview was shared on Twitter:
At the CPAC conference Friday, Trump continued to slam the “dishonest,” “fake news” media, who he has named “the enemy of the American people.”Audio of today’s on-the-record but off-camera @PressSec briefing for select media: https://t.co/bglGbRL3UY— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) February 24, 2017
“I want you all to know we are fighting the fake news – fixed, phony, fake,” Trump said to applause.
“As you saw throughout the entire campaign, and even now, the fake news doesn’t tell the truth,” Trump said at the conference.