On Thursday, the White House took another step forward in suppressing the public’s access to the Trump administration by ordering that no cameras be allowed to record either video or audio at today’s scheduled press briefing.
In a hush-hush memo sent out to members of the White House press corp the night before, those planning to attend Thursday’s press briefing were told not to bother bringing anything more than a pen and paper.
The WH is holding what is essentially a normal briefing in the briefing room but they aren’t allowing cameras to record what’s being said. https://t.co/GaOihp44jj
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) June 22, 2017
Previously, the White House has held many off-camera briefings, but audio was always allowed to be transmitted. Now, they are clamping down on even this aspect.
It’s no secret that the White House has struggled to communicate with the media, with Press Secretary Sean Spicer stumbling his way through lie after lie since day one. When Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was brought in as a soft replacement for Spicer, she proved to be no improvement.
But it’s not necessarily the failings of either Spicer or Huckabee Sanders – it’s just impossible to lie so many times before an inquiring, informed press without looking like you are a furious, untrustworthy liar.
In response to this order, many are calling on the media to boycott the event entirely. Others have suggested the media has a responsibility to either skirt the rules or outright defy them.
Not sure why the White House reporters don’t band together and record the briefing. This seems like an easy stand to take https://t.co/y6nYrbvhbf
— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) June 22, 2017
Good idea! Or say, we’re recording this. Make the WH cancel the briefing or kick them out. https://t.co/66XXWAPNdB
— Tommy Vietor (@TVietor08) June 22, 2017
As the White House has continued to clamp down on media access, they have defended their decision thanks to the continued demonization of the media as a whole. but make no mistake; by isolating themselves from the media, the White House is isolating itself from the American public as well.
If we hope to hold Trump and his administration accountable and ensure that legislation like the AHCA are not passed in secrecy, the media must continue to push back against these increased restrictions. To achieve this, the American public, too, must demand more transparency, rather than less.