The New York Times, BuzzFeed News, CNN, The Los Angeles Times and Politico, were barred from a White House press briefing on Friday following Donald Trump’s speech at CPAC in which he attacked the media.
Trump-friendly media outlets were allowed inside the briefing, the NYT reports:
Those organizations included Breitbart News, the One America News Network and The Washington Times, all with conservative leanings. Journalists from ABC, CBS, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and Fox News also attended.
Reporters from Time magazine and The Associated Press, who were set to be allowed in, chose not to attend the briefing in protest of the White House’s actions.
“Nothing like this has ever happened at the White House in our long history of covering multiple administrations of different parties,” Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The Times, said in a statement. “We strongly protest the exclusion of The New York Times and the other news organizations. Free media access to a transparent government is obviously of crucial national interest.”
The White House Correspondents’ Association denounced the exclusions:
“The W.H.C.A. board is protesting strongly against how today’s gaggle is being handled by the White House. We encourage the organizations that were allowed in to share the material with others in the press corps who were not. The board will be discussing this further with White House staff.”
Later on Friday, a video recorded two months ago emerged in which White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said full and open access for the press is a requirement in a democracy:
Two months ago, in a panel discussion, he insisted that open access for the media is “what makes a democracy a democracy versus a dictatorship.”