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The Great Press Wars: Gagglegate Hits CNN and the NY Times

The Great Press Wars: Gagglegate Hits CNN and the NY Times

Keep making it about yourselves, press corps

Offering no explanation, the White House excluded CNN, Buzzfeed, the LA Times, the New York Times, and several foreign outlets from its informal press gaggle Friday. Fox and other network outlets were permitted attendance, as were larger right-learning outlets like the Washington Times and One America News Network.

Naturally, excluded outlets are less than thrilled.

Jake Tapper is one of the better offerings from the cable news world, but he’s wrong that the White House stonewalling overtly hostile press is “Un-American.”

So does Professor Jacobson:

In response to being turned away Friday, CNN’s Brian Stelter suggested CNN and the NY Times show impartiality to ALL presidents.

And that’s exactly why the Stelter’s of the world are seldom taken seriously these days.

The outlets who were not invited to the gaggle party have a well-documented history of misreporting all things related to our new President. Should they be rewarded access for sloppy, bias-driven reporting?

And because this seems to be consistently misunderstood — denying access is not censorship, nor is doing so anywhere close to first amendment infringement territory. It might have been foolish and base-bating, but their decision was most certainly not unconstitutional.

“The Great Press Wars” as I’ve decided to dub them, are both fascinating and necessary.

Trump is largely a product of cable news. Sure there were various other factors that played into his popularity and electoral win, but the media played a leading role in Trump’s eventual electoral success. During his candidacy, cable networks live streamed his rallies, covered his quip, and devoted an ungodly amount of time to Trump promotion, all because he was ratings gold. It was all fun and games until Trump walked into the White House.

Trump has been notoriously critical of the press, spending seventy-seven minutes of a press conference candidly schooling media members on how they ought to ask questions, reminding them of their low approval ratings, and leveraging national press coverage to skewer the press corps. Trump supporters love it. His base adores his sharp words. And for good reason — Trump is saying to the political media what consumers have been saying all along — enough with the bias.

You would think that after suffering a month of public humiliation for their obvious preferences in an industry where none should exist, members of the political media set would embark on an introspective journey, perhaps mull how they ended up being dubbed an “enemy of the American people.” Instead, the opposite has happened — the press corps continues to make themselves the martyr, perpetuating, instead of ending, the battle for neutral reporting.

So out of touch are they that the Editor-in-chief of Reuters had to specifically instruct reporters in this frightening, new post-Obama world to, “get out into the country and learn more about how people live, what they think, what helps and hurts them, and how the government and its actions appear to them, not to us.” They should’ve been doing exactly that all along.

The victimhood, the whining, the “un-American” hyperbole — it all reinforces what Americans already believe about the press, which happens to be exactly what President Trump is saying.

While the entire ordeal is fascinating and even entertaining, a raging press war is not sustainable, even if Trump is right.

On one hand, there’s little more gratifying than watching the political media corps being brought back down to planet Earth after eight years of coddling under Obama’s tenure. On the other, dwelling in a constant state of divisiveness and contentiousness is taxing.

It’s a teeny tiny bit unsettling that several outlets were denied access today. But only a little. Better would be open access for all, all the time. But that’s never been the reality.

Not all outlets are present on Airforce One, nor are they all included in various informal gaggles, like today’s. Every president before Trump has had a preferred news outlet or few that had access where and when others did not.

Trump’s White House has made it clear they plan to broaden their reach to include “alternative” media outlets who weren’t previously privy to White House press briefings. Including more outlets means they’ll likely be required to stagger accessibility in order to accommodate everyone.

But the pragmatic explanation will be ignored and instead, the press will make themselves the story. Again.

The self-involvement of the political media is exactly why the average American is likely to side with Trump in the Great Press Wars.

Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye


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CNN’s Brian Stelter suggested CNN and the NY Times show impartiality to ALL presidents.

CNN’s Brian Stelter hilariously suggested CNN and the NY Times show impartiality to ALL presidents.

See how one word turns fake news into real news.

Gee, we laughed at him, made fun of his family and supporters, told our viewers and readers he was never going to be President, openly cheered Hillary Clinton and gave her team as much help as we could help before the election to make sure she would win…

    Trump got elected because he was willing to stand up to the MSM.

    And he is not going to let them back in power to set their fraudulent agenda. And the people still, and always will, love it. And it drives the egocentric MSM crazy – we love that too.

    “This is an unacceptable development by the Trump White House,” CNN tweeted Friday. “Apparently this is how they retaliate when you report facts they don’t like. We will keep reporting regardless.”


    “This is an unacceptable development by the Trump White House,” CNN tweeted Friday. “Apparently this is how they retaliate when you report lies. We will keep lying regardless.”

F**k ’em if they can’t take a joke.

    Old0311 in reply to myiq2xu. | February 24, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    I can only give you one thumbs up, but it should be x 1000.

    Common Sense in reply to myiq2xu. | February 25, 2017 at 12:08 am


    I am so tired of the temper tantrums of the biased media!
    Trump is treating them like he should. A bratty 4 year old that needs a “time out” and if that does not work a swipe
    across the rear will come next. Wait for the screaming when that happens.

Next thing you know the “journalists” will be wanting into the men’s room.

The major news outlets didn’t have a single problem with shutting out smaller, independent outlets so they can shut their pie holes.

The LA Times whined on Facebook…and was promptly deluged with comments that said they had it coming.

The media war is not very taxing if you tune it out completely, as I and most Americans have done. However, it is fun to watch the media curl into a fetal position over Trump.

The JournoLists that cried [dead] Soviets.

They thought they had a monopoly, that they would be immune from redistributive change. Do not pass Go. Do not collection $200.

That said, shouldn’t they be telecommuting when the wind is
blowing moderately, and the sun is shining at near normal?

Think of the prophecy of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming. If not for the unPlanned children, do it for Gaia!

The JournoLists of the Fourth estate fear that they may no longer be viable. The implications are well known. Their future is Planned.

What really hacks the off is that OAN and Breitbart got in, but they didn’t. OAN and Breitbart should be invited to everything now, to make it clear they are always treated at least as well as CNN.

CNN won’t be able to control their outrage after a while. 🙂

One question: This is all based on a CNN claim, right? Because I could *swear* I saw somewhere else that the administration claimed it did not exclude CNN/NYT from the gaggle, and in fact invited everybody it normally did.

I am mixed about this. Yes, he should continue to castigate the press and point out their hypocrisy.

But I do remember when Obama tried to keep Fox news from a press conference. Fox had angered Obama concerning some pointed coverage (that was proven correct) about the administration. The conservatives howled, and the news organizations stood unified with Fox.

Jake Tapper, an ABC News correspondent, cried foul about the administration’s treatment of “one of our sister organizations.”

Yes, we would say Fox was wrongly sidelined, and point to acknowledgments from the NYT that Fox was following news stories that others should have been pursuing.

But i wonder if excluding certain news groups starts or escalates a bad precedent.

    I think Fox should support those other news agencies that got shut out by the White House. Just as a sibling should support their sibling when attacked. “Family” should stick together. Cohesiveness is a bulwark against government destroying the press.
    That doesn’t mean the White House is wrong or should stop. Certain news agencies should be castigated when they cross the line into distorting news stories. They need to be corrected.

      JOHN B in reply to rayc. | February 24, 2017 at 9:15 pm

      This was not a news conference. Obama often had meetings with a few friendly press members.

      Heck, they met with his aides so they knew what to report the next day.

        So if it’s just a small gathering to discuss some lightweight issues, I can understand why Trump would not want to invite unrepentant liars who will just write the worst possible lies that Trump will have to respond to. That takes time, and right now Time is the most precious commodity he has. Why give it away to somebody who is just going to burn it?

        On the other hand, the larger press briefings are self-correcting. If you invite thirty people and three lie about it, they’re pretty obvious. In the previous case, if you invite four people and three lie about what goes on, it’s a big mess that takes forever to clean up, if at all.

    Good point. That incident was slightly different in that it was a “press pool” event (one camera crew with the footage shared with the attendant WH press corps). The exclusion of Fox was a clear attempt to shut Fox out of pool coverage, a thing that ticked off the other WH press pool corps.

    The Obama admin, at that time, was heavily criticizing Fox and saying it was not a legit news organization, and etc.

    The news gaggle freeze out was of an informal press gathering of the same type that Obama held with HuffPo and other assorted Journolist types, including bloggers from Kos and Vox, etc.

    If the Trump WH decides it doesn’t want to include CNN and the NYT at informal gaggles, that’s one thing. If they decide that these outlets cannot be a part of the WH press corps for pressers, pool coverage, etc., that’s another. It’s a fine line and one I, too, hope they take care to walk carefully.

    All that clarified, though, I do appreciate the point you make.

I prefer not to associate with liars too. If I must, I will mess with their heads something fierce.

I get why Trump ended up calling presstitutes ‘Fake News’ after the Democrats’ whining over fake news and the election results. But my personal preference would be for him to call them ‘the Democrat media.’

Trump should either ditch the annual White House party, or flood it with conservative media outlets.

It looks like poking fun at the Fake News and Very Fake News press has not penetrated into their block heads so like the young puppy who is refusing to quit piddling on the floor today looked a lot like a rolled up newspaper across the muzzle.

Now we can all wait and see if those excluded get the message and clean up their act.

As an old instructor was fond of saying to young recruits, “my heart bleeds purple p1ss” for the Democrat MfM.

The next 8 years is going to be solid gold!!! 🙂

legalizehazing | February 25, 2017 at 6:23 am

Huh Press Wars. It’s almost like a war on info..

FakeNews outlets sewed the wind and now they are reaping the whirlwind.

The press conference was covered by the pool of reporters and recorded. There was no effort to hide anything. Obama did this stuff all the time and they were fine with it.

Good article in the Daily Mail on the elites (BR and US) and the threat to democracy.

    Hexenjager in reply to VaGentleman. | February 25, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    ‘Democracy is supposed to enact the will of the people. But what if the people have no clue what they’re doing?’

    Well, then Hillary would have been elected.

I remember when then-candidate Obama booted conservative newspaper reporters off his campaign plane (including the Washington Times and NY Post) and replaced them with reporters from Ebony, Jet, and (you can’t make this stuff up) Glamour.

The replacement choices got far more ridicule than the booting of the conservative media.

Remember how Fox News was treated by every liberal pundit, the liberal media [read as the rest of the media] and the Obama WH? Fox was vilified as being overly conservative. They were accused of being a propaganda arm of the Republican Party. They were barred from the press pool. And, some of their reporters were actually spied upon by the Obama administration.

Though the path that Fox trod, with regard to presenting the news may have been more conservative than the rest of the MSM, this did not make them “conservative”. Seeing as how the Communist party is probably further to the right than the bulk of the MSM, even a moderate stance on political news would seem to be reactionary. And, you would be hard pressed to find any staunch conservatives who would call Fox News “conservative”. At best, they are moderate with reporters and pundits who encompass both sides of the political spectrum. However, the “conservative” actors on Fox seem to stay much closer to the center than do the “liberal” actors on that network.

What happened on Friday was just the latest slap on the nose, for the media. Counting the CPAC speech, this is the 5th time that Trump has publicly called out the media for their coverage of him, his administration and his policies using innuendo and false facts and narratives. And, still certain media outlets continue to commit these journalistic atrocities. So, after scolding the media for disseminating he once against made the point, clearly and unequivocally, that he was not complaining about factually accurate stories which pointed out actual mistakes made by he or his administration, but rather, for inaccurate stories shrouded in innuendo and unsupported claims. Then he hit the most egregious offenders on the nose with his newspaper by barring them from the gaggle. They still had access to the pool stories, but they did not get to approach the throne. Bad doggies.

Will the MSM EVER get the message? Some of them probably won’t. Even though this administration is far most transparent than the last and allows far more access to journalists, they may just kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.

And, though the MSM stood up and criticized Obama’s decision to bar Fox from the pool, they did not relent in their criticism of Fox news as being too right wing.