Saturday, February 25, 2017

Barring Unfriendly Media From White House Press Event Backfiring Spectacularly

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer really stepped in it
when he barred some media from a press briefing Friday.
The news media and fans of the First Amendment were appalled yesterday when White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer barred the New York Times, CNN, Buzzfeed, Politico and the Los Angeles Times from a news briefing.

Those news organizations have been among the most aggressive in covering Donald Trump's wide and growing range of scandals, not the least of which the administration's ties to Russia.

The move was widely seen as retaliation, but what did it accomplish?

Does anyone in the real world actually know what Spicer told the other media that went into the press briefing? They all reported it, but I don't even know what Spicer's message was, and I'm an avid news junkie.

That's because whatever Spicer had to say was completely lost in the outrage and commentary and yakking and consternation about the press being barred.

All Spicer - and by extension Trump - did was call more attention to the possibly impeachable stuff that's been going on with Russia.

Donald Trump said he would create jobs and in one respect, he's right. CNN says "The Trump White House is a full-employment program for investigative reporters, and they are building an impressive, devastating body of work, thanks to a President who routinely invents facts and utters or tweets outright falsehoods almost daily."

CNN goes on, and I'm in full agreement with this:

"As any seasoned reporter knows, that kind of squealing, with pointless insults, is the sound made by politicians when the truth makes them feel cornered and uncomfortable. Their bleating, in fact, signals that it's time to turn up the heat."

Oh, and that heat is coming on much stronger than the actual meteorological record heat the nation is experiencing.  We, the news consumers, will have to be careful, because in the rush to nail Trump, some media outlets will get it wrong.

But the true facts are slowly emerging, and will continue to do so.

It even seems like Republicans in Congress are starting to get fed up, even though many of them are still kissing Trump's butt.

Still, it was very telling that last night, the very conservative Rep. Darrell Issa, R-California, was on "Real Time With Bill Maher" last night saying that Congress should appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Russian influence.

Issa also said that Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who is a friend of Issa's, should recuse himself from an investigation, since he's part of the Trump administration.

This of course, is going to get even messier. Trump's true believers - perhaps one quarter of the nation's voting adults - believe Trump's whines that the drumbeat of reports of his corruption is all "fake news"

If the so-called "fake news" leads to Trump's downfall, I worry there will be violence. People are that fired up.

And if anything terrible happens, it will be all Trump's fault, since he's the one who caused this disaster to begin with.

Trump is perhaps the only president that doesn't understand the presidential phrase, "The buck stops here."

Which is ironic, because everything about Trump is about money and status. Boy, is he heading toward a fall.

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