First, remember when Sean Spicer had the following comment about access from the press?
Unlike Trump campaign events, Trump’s White House will “absolutely not” prohibit certain reporters or outlets from covering the president, Spicer said.
“Look, look, he’s not going to bounce anybody out,” Spicer said. “He has a healthy belief in the First Amendment and the understanding and the role of a free press.” [politico]
However, today we find that some major outlets weren’t on the list for an off camera briefing from the White House. Note this isn’t the Presidential Daily Briefing we usually see on C-SPAN, or the networks.
That said, the list is informative – Breitbart, Fox, and the Washington Times were on it. No LA Times, no Politico, and no New York Times. The press group for off camera sessions may be smaller than the briefing events, but the inclusions on the list are as instructive as the size of the group.
If we’re putting the jig saw puzzle together, or connecting the dots, remember that this happened as the president was doubling down on his “fake news” attacks. He’s fine tuning this pitch. First, declare the media “enemies of the people,” Next, add a line about “the fake news” is an “enemy of the people.” One more step, say “I support the free press, but “fake news” shouldn’t be allowed to misinform the people.
This is the logical result of the premise that “I am the only one who will tell you the truth” propaganda technique slathered on by right wing radio broadcasters for decades. The trumpster is speaking to an audience already conditioned to believe only what they are told by Fox News.
By restricting access from major networks and publications in one format, the press may become conditioned to restrictions in others. At least that’s what they might be hoping.