What the press briefing ban means

Furious at truthful coverage, the White House barred the NYT, CNN, L.A. Times, Buzzfeed, and Politico from a press briefing. Along with the three traditional networks and The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and Fox News, the three others media outlets allowed are — wait for it — Breitbart News, the One America News Network and The Washington Times.

I mean, fuck covering the White House in normal times. Genuine reporting involves cultivating sources in Cabinet departments and regulatory agencies and poring over documents — subpoenaed if necessary. I realize that such labor might destroy Chuck Todd and Mark Halperin. Regardless of which party occupies the White House, the daily briefing offers little more than a chance for a reporter on the make to get TV time asking questions whose syntax will trip no politician familiar with The Lorax.

What matters is the window into the talking compost heap behind the CPAC podium. Obsessed with ratings, deranged, volatile, and stupid, Trump will at last get what his burdensome occupancy of the Oval Office has wanted: a press of courtiers that will function as a propaganda office and, like in Shakespeare’s plays, an assembly of royal fools, expected to raise the spirits of their sovereign after watching cable news cover yet another story showing the degree to which his loyal apparatchiks are either business partners with Russians, allied with white supremacists, are white supremacists, or all three.

Many, including yours truly, wondered if the subdued almost humble beefsteak of a visage he showed the world the day after Election Day seated beside the man whose citizenship he had vehemently questioned had as much trouble as the rest of the world accepting that he would be the forty-fifth president of the United States. Today’s events confirm it. Trump would like nothing more than to return to Mar-a-Lago, where he can oversee the engraving of his name on a butterball turkey that he will sell to Russian oligarchs for $3.6 billion. But he can’t resign — it would give the losers and assholes who mocked him satisfaction. So he’s stuck with a job he doesn’t want, his party is stuck with a figurehead it would like to set on fire as soon as he signs the legislation it wants, and the rest of us are fucked.

On a lighter note, read the NYT’s front page teaser:

Mr. Trump, who once posed as his own public relations man to plant news stories in tabloids, also called for an end to the use of anonymous sources.

I’ve told my journalism students that few structures bring greater satisfaction than the well-placed non-essential relative clause.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s