With all that is going bad, terrible, and worse in the current administration, Fox News’ Sean Hannity sees one good solution to the turbulence: put a muzzle on the media.
In response to the breaking news that Trump had handed top secret classified information to his Russian allies, Hannity elected to ignore the issue entirely in favor of blaming his President’s favorite scapegoat: the media.
Forgetting entirely that he, too, is technically part of this reviled group, Hannity suggested that the White House and the American people would be better served if the daily press briefings at the White House were dramatically restructured to allow only pre-approved questions on pre-screened topics.
This way, Hannity argued, “You, the American people, would be better served.”
Here is Hannity’s totally-not-suspect plan for Spicer’s press breifings:
“First, the White House press team should regularly develop a list of the top and most important 15, 20, 25 issues of the day. Next, the media, well, they should be able to submit questions about these issues in writing, give the White House time to respond with clarity and specificity, and if Sean Spicer then wants to take a couple of questions from the briefing room podium, that’s fine. But only on those specific topics.”
Any member of the media who has been involved in the daily press briefings in Trump’s administration would know that getting Press Secretary Sean Spicer to give a real answer to an urgent question is already an exercise in futility. If the White House were to clamp down on this traditional media relationship as Trump threatened to do last week, it would mark a severe limit on communication between the White House and the public at large.
Consumers of media must remember that when we talk about “the media” losing access to the President and to the administration’s accountability, we are talking about we, the people, losing that same access. Without the media’s window to the presidency, and without their urgent questioning, the White House is able to do whatever they please with no push-back or intervention.
So why would Sean Hannity want to limit the press’s access to the POTUS and his administration. Simply, Hannity feels that if he succeeds in pulling off such a media limitation, he may be granted exclusive access to the administration as a friendly outlet to the president. While that may do wonders for Fox’s failing ratings, the network’s inability to pressure or push back against the administration would mean that Fox would function more like state TV than real news.
Hannity’s brazen demands are another sign of the times; as we discover the President overstepped the bounds of his presidency yet again, putting valuable sources at risk and possibly losing trust from other nations with valuable intel, Hannity feels emboldened to try and change the subject.
Unfortunately for him, his failing network, and his failing President, the narrative of Trump and Russia continues to grow stronger by the day.