Multiple news organizations and journalists that have irked President Trump were barred today from a White House press briefing, sparking outrage from those blocked out.
CNN, the Huffington Post, the New York Times, Politico, BuzzFeed and the Los Angeles Times were among the news outlets barred from attending an off-camera, informal briefing by White House press secretary Sean Spicer.
The BuzzFeed White House correspondent, Adrian Carrasquillo, tweeted that Breitbart News, the Washington Times and One America were allowed in.
A story in the Huffington Post by Michael Calderone noted the atmosphere after the news outlets, including his, were barred.
He wrote: “…a decision that drew strong rebukes from news organizations and may only heighten tensions between the press corps and the administration.”
Calderone also tweeted that the Huffington Post was leading its news with responses “from NYT, CNN, Politico, WSJ, WHCA (White House Correspondents Association), and the White House.”
He later tweeted that the Committee to Protect Journalists is also concerned by the actions, quoting CPJ executive director Joel Simon: “It’s not the job of political leaders to determine how journalists should conduct their work, and sets a terrible example for the rest of the world…”
CNN on its home page responded with the headline “An Unprecedented Act” and said in its story: "This is an unacceptable development by the Trump White House," CNN said in a statement. Apparently this is how they retaliate when you report facts they don't like. We'll keep reporting regardless."
In a statement by New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet: "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."
Social media reacted sharply on both the professional and personal fronts, with the hashtag #FreedomOfThePress trending, with people tweeting everything from the White House violating the First Amendment, to people calling this the beginning of a dictatorship, to those quoting President Reagan when he said “…freedom of the press has been a fundamental tenet of American life.”
The White House tried to defend its actions, according to the CNN story, issuing a short statement by spokeswoman Sarah Sanders, saying that the White House “had the pool there so everyone would be represented and get an update from us today.”
Trump has not officially taken away any press credentials, but some are saying this is a step in doing so. It plays into Trump’s very public shunning of the media, which he has chided, bullied and blatantly ignored over the course of his short presidency.