I cannot name how many times the establishment mainstream media has melted down since Donald Trump first announced he would be running for president, something which only intensified as he started rising in the polls, and more and more GOP opponents started dropping out of the primaries. Once Trump officially became the GOP nominee, to run against Hillary Clinton in the general, the attacks and "fake news" reports, distortions and outright lies and innuendo that became "news" hit a fevered pitch.
Since Trump has become President, the media has become just what they have been described as by members of the Trump administration, which is an "opposition party," evidenced by the most recent examples ANP documented on Friday, where in a matter of three days, three completely "fake news" storylines by the MSM had been debunked.
In response to the media's inability to report with any objectivity at all, President Trump has floated a couple ideas that has MSM heads exploding all across America. One idea the president floated was via Twitter, where he said "...Maybe the best thing to do would be to cancel all future "press briefings" and hand out written responses for the sake of accuracy???"
The second was during a Fox News interview where he proposed "We donít have press conferences, we just donít have them, unless I have them every two weeks and I do them myself."
THE MSM RESPONSE
The reactions by the MSM has been entertaining to those of us that have been documenting their collective mental breakdowns for the last nearly two years.
The White House Correspondents' Association (WHCA) immediately spoke up against the idea by claiming "White House briefings and press conferences provide substantive and symbolic opportunities for journalists to pose questions to officials at the highest levels of the U.S. government.
Doing away with briefings would reduce accountability, transparency, and the opportunity for Americans to see that, in the U.S. system, no political figure is above being questioned," WHCA President Jeff Mason, a correspondent for Reuters, said in a statement. "The White House Correspondents' Association would object to any move that would threaten those constitutionally-protected principles." (Source)
The First Amendment is very clear in stating "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
No Amendment, nor anything written within the Constitution makes the President, nor the White House, legally obligated to hold press conferences. Therefore the WHCA's attempt to conflate their constitutional protections with President Trump's legal right to decide when, or even if, he wishes to continue the practice of press briefings, fails on its face.
Liberal talking heads are accusing President Trump of "threatening" the press, yet the Trump administration, to date, has not legally persecuted the press, as Obama did†in 2013 when the Obama administration faced a huge scandal when the†Associated Press announced telephone records for 20 of their reporters during a two-month period in 2012 had been subpoenaed by the Justice Department. AP reported the Justice Department would not say why it sought the records, nor has the Trump admin named any reporter a†criminal co-conspirator as Obama did to Fox News reporter James Rosen.†
Newt Gingrich joined Sean Hannity, seen in the interview below, where he not only thinks that President Trump should treat the MSM as the "dishonest opponents pretending to be reporters" they have shown themselves to be, he even takes it a step further, suggesting that President Trump close down the White House press room and send them all over to Starbucks.†
Cue the meltdown over that suggestion!!!
PRESS ACCESS IS AT THE DISCRETION OF THE WHITE HOUSE
What many might not be aware of is that press briefings and access were not always the norm and did not start until 1913 with Woodrow Wilson. As I was researching the history of press briefings, I found a very interesting quote on the White House Historical Association website, which asserts that "Reporters act as surrogates for the public."
I saw an interesting short video clip the other day where Democrats from Pennsylvania were asked a number of questions, including at the 40 second mark, "Do any of you have a story that you hear about all the time, that you think 'this story is not important, and I don't want to hear any more about it." †A female liberal answers, and in her response it becomes very clear the media are not acting as "surrogates" of the public," and are no longer representing or reporting about the "news" Americans are interested in, and are instead focusing only on what they, the liberal MSM, care about.
Her answer was "We'll go with Russia, okay, because that was one of the things that's driving me absolutely mad. I think Russia has already been proven to not have had any impact on our elections, they did not, you know, drive from polling place to polling place, and you know, hoodwink the machines, and whatever, and so, to try to keep going on, that really makes the Democrats look a little desperate."
The MSM doesn't care anymore what the public wants to know, what the public finds important, and only push the storylines that the liberal Democrats want focused on... proving yet again, they have become part of the "opposition" party, rather than journalist meant to be "surrogates" for the public.
This is why the MSM had a completely hissy fit when the Trump administration started allowing lesser known outlets into the press briefings and *GASP* started allowing them to ask questions..... because they weren't the "topics" the MSM wanted asked, they were topics that Americans wanted asked.
In December 2016, before Trump was inaugurated, Quartz Magazine made the following point:
Thereís no law, after all, that Trump has to speak with the press as president. Press conferences used to be an important tool of the free press. They allowed journalists to have a dialogue with lawmakers and elites. And they allowed for greater transparency, because reporters could ask questions and dig deeper on the issues. But in todayís 24-hour news cycle, press conferences often get derailed by reporters who are more interested in inciting reactions than extracting information from the exchanges.
In late November 2016, Sean Hannity also suggestion completely dumping the White House press corps, stating "People donít need them any more. Theyíre done. I suggested the other day that if any of these organizations were involved in collusion with the Clinton campaign, why do they get a seat in the White House press office? Why does Donald Trump need a White House press office? He doesnít. You know, you can have a pool person thatís standing by if, God forbid, thereís any bad news about the president that the country needs to know, but his own staff could tweet it out, for crying out loud.?
The MSM today are no better than the little snowflakes in college campuses, thinking they are "entitled" to access when in reality, there is no legal mandate that says any administration must accommodate them, and since they have gotten into the very bad habit of simply making up their own news, which continues to have to then be debunked, after they have already distorted the reality for millions, many believe that President Trump should boot the press out.
BOTTOM LINE - SUGGESTION FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP
President Trump should conduct a test, ask the public, no journalists included, to submit 100 questions to the White House, then hold a daily briefing, followed up by publishing the questions Americans wanted answered, and let the public see if the press is still representing their interests, by comparing those public-submitted questions to the ones the press asks in the daily briefing.
If the press questions accurately match at least half of the questions that were submitted by the general public, keep the daily press briefing..... if they don't, then throw the bums out and set up a portion of the White House website where "we the people" can submit questions, then send out the press secretary each day to answer OUR questions, in the name of transparency.
Weigh in folks, should President Trump make changes in the daily press briefings or even go as far as just throwing them all out? Or should he keep things as they are?
Below Judge Jeanine Pirro and Sean Hannity discuss this very issue after a short teasers of Pirro's interview with President Trump.