The number of lines that Donald Trump has crossed since he announced he was running for president has got to be in the double-digits.
And yet he has survived all of them.
Sadly, he will also survive his latest provocation: silencing the media, a direct rebuke of the First Amendment.
That line was crossed today when the White House barred multiple media outlets from attending a briefing with press secretary Sean Spicer. As Reuters notes,
Reporters for CNN, The New York Times, Politico, The Los Angeles Times and BuzzFeed were not allowed into the session in the office of press secretary Sean Spicer.
Spicer’s off-camera briefing, or “gaggle,” replaced the usual televised daily news briefing on Friday in the White House briefing room. He did not say why those particular news organizations were excluded, a decision which drew strong protests.
The Los Angeles Times was one of the banned news agencies. Its White House reporter Noah Bierman reported his bosses were not at all happy.
In a statement, Times editor Davan Maharaj said that it was “unfortunate that the Los Angeles Times has been excluded from a White House press briefing today.”
“The public has a right to know, and that means being informed by a variety of news sources, not just those filtered by the White House press office in hopes of getting friendly coverage,” Maharaj said.
“Regardless of access, The Times will continue to report on the Trump administration without fear or favor,” he added.
The decision to bar the media came just hours after Dictator Trump blasted the media during his address to the annual Conservative Political Action Conference. Don’t forget that the dictator also tweeted one week ago that many news organizations are “enemies of the American People.”
Arizona senator John McCain — intending to or not — spoke for many of his colleagues when he said, “I hate the press,” during an interview with “Meet the Press.” “But the fact is we need … a free press. We must have it. It’s vital.”
What happened today will not lead to the White House press corps cowering in fear of the dictator; no, it will embolden them, which suits me just fine. Perhaps the strongest statement they could send would be to collectively boycott one press briefing. Sure, the lightweights that are in Trump’s back pocket will still show up, but they already lack any credibility.