CNN Reporter Goes Rogue When White House Bans Cameras in Press Briefings

CNN Reporter Goes Rogue When White House Bans Cameras in Press Briefings

Since the Trump administration took office, the Republicans have shown a trend toward opposing transparency at just about every junction. Their health care bill was written and voted on behind closed doors, and the White House recently started a policy of banning recording devices from the daily press briefings. While that might seem like a huge contradiction, and it is, it only speaks to the desperation of the administration to prevent themselves from being painted in the negative light they deserve. The result is that the media is forced to only comment on the lack of information being given.

This past Sunday, the White House held a press conference in which Sean Spicer, the Press Secretary, forbade the press from using audio or visual recording devices of any sort. The idea behind such a tactic is to draw focus away from the fact that his answers were basically empty. Of course, the press members responsible for covering the White House have made it clear that they would expect no less from the Trump administration. They have already learned to deal with misdirection and strange behavior from the president and his cabinet members.

Apparently the meeting wasn’t worth recording anyway, because Spicer refused to give answers on any subject the press wanted to discuss. Every time he was asked a question he did not want to answer, he simply stated that he had not discussed the issue with the president. The entire briefing took only 30 minutes, and many members of the press who attended felt like they were being stonewalled by a speaker who didn’t want to address the audience.

In light of the strange situation, Jim Acosta of CNN decided to have a little bit of fun under the circumstances. Before the briefing actually began, he tweeted a selfie inside the press room, which apparently was against the rules at that point. Of course, Spicer had yet to take the podium, so why it would be against the rules is anyone’s guess. A short while later, apparently due to the boredom he was feeling at Spicer’s inability to answer the simplest question, he tweeted a second photo, this time of his new socks. The implication of the photo was that he could not raise the phone to snap a photo of Spicer at the podium without repercussions, so he kept the phone low and got what he could. In either case, the socks were probably much more entertaining than the spin Spicer was spewing at the time.

After the meeting, Acosta qualified his funny tweets with a serious endnote regarding the situation. He tweeted that the behavior from the White House would not be tolerated if it was coming from a lower-level government body like a city council. The stonewalling and refusal to answer questions is indicative of potentially worse behavior from the Trump administration in the future. If they can’t deal with the press asking tough questions about their insane actions and policies, perhaps they should take that as a hint that something they are doing isn’t right instead of blaming the media for their own mistakes.

The most worrisome aspect of the situation is that this behavior is new, but it only took the Trump administration about five months to reach the point where they felt the need to prohibit recording devices at their briefings. If people accept this behavior now, there’s no telling what sort of treatment the media, or the entire country, might get under Trump after several years. The White House needs to learn that the American people will not tolerate silence from their elected officials.

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