Here’s a dirty little secret you may not know about the media. Somewhere down deep in their heart, they believe they are a privileged class, a very special group with unique license and favor. Often this means little things like access to places where ordinary Americans are not permitted. Sometimes it means sitting in the press section at an event which, of course, constitute the best seats in the house.
As a former member of this honorable class, I experienced it myself. For years after leaving broadcast journalism, I complained to my husband about the awful seats and tickets he was getting at events – not to mention the lack of special parking. He made me realize that average folks couldn’t get those types of seats or special parking – that I had become used to living the life of the privileged class. This came as a shock to me.
This week some members of the very elite media establishment – and we’re talking The New York Times, CNN, the Los Angeles Times — were barred by Press Secretary Sean Spicer from attending a small briefing at the White House.
And they are in shock.
For members of this privileged class, this means war. Not that battles and skirmishes weren’t already underway. But this – this banishment – is another kettle of fish. The hue and cry has gone up from coast to coast as these cultured scribes and TV News Stars find themselves in unfamiliar territory. They have been relegated to the ash heap of the little people. And are they ever pissed off:
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.”
Marty Baron, the [Washington] Post’s editor, called Mr. Spicer’s decision to exclude some news organizations from a scheduled briefing “appalling.”
“This is an undemocratic path that the administration is traveling,” Mr. Baron said. “There is nothing to be gained from the White House restricting the public’s access to information.
In an effort to act like just another member of the tribe, (and hopefully be accepted by them) FOX News anchor Bret Baier slammed the White House action in a tweet:
Some at CNN & NYT stood w/FOX News when the Obama admin attacked us & tried 2 exclude us-a WH gaggle should be open to all credentialed orgs.
As if the folks at the Times and the Post have any respect for FOX News — give me a break! FOX always seems to be trying to fit in like the overweight little girl trying out for high school cheerleader. Pick me, pick me — when all the while everyone knows she’ll be cut in the first round.
It isn’t that these news services have been critical of the Trump Administration. It’s that they have some sort of vendetta that causes them to air and print abjectly false information over and over. Oh, they often print retractions. But one would need 2X+ reading glasses to find them.
Meantime, the President and officials in his press office have warned them time and again that if they keep it up, they will get the hook. As is most often the case with Trump, he says what he means and means what he says. It really should have come as no surprise to this elite, dishonest press corps that at a certain point, they were going to get the boot.
And while getting special seats at the ballgame may not be akin to being barred from a small off-side press briefing at the White House, the principal is the same. If you think your status as a member of the press means you’re special – think again. The establishment media must take responsibility for their actions – just like regular people.
But make no mistake folks. This means war – the nuclear option. And this is just the beginning. It will be oh so much fun to watch those privileged, elite members of the media whining and holding public temper tantrums. And this isn’t even pay-per-view – it’s free.