Today the White House held a “gaggle,” journalist lingo for an informal news briefing, but didn’t invite CNN, The New York Times, L.A. Times and other news organizations. In the five weeks that President Trump as been President Trump, he has made the media his enemy. Is this a good PR move for the White House?
While this blog is not political in any way, it is an extremely rare occurrence for a president of the United States to purposely block providing information to major news outlets, even though they can get it from other sources. Press secretary Sean Spicer tried to explain the move as a news pool — where a limited number of media are briefed and they share it with others. That is not unusual, but this is. There are literally thousands of news outlets in American and tens of thousands around the world, and the White House can’t fit them all into a room. So there is a selection process.
However, President Trump is on another campaign, and it is not to “build a wall” or to “lower taxes” or to “repeal and replace Obamacare.” His campaign is to attack the media, and rally his supporters to this cause.
I think back to my days in journalism school. We learned that the media don’t always get it right; often have an agenda; are often sloppy; and almost always are critical of the president. And most presidents don’t like the media because they tend to focus on the negative. But even Richard Nixon, who was legendary in his disdain of the media, didn’t go so far as to bar major media from news briefings.
It’s been said that Donald Trump is at his best when he is campaigning against someone or something. He beat 17 Republicans for the nomination and one major Democrat to win the presidency. He talks about the great things he is going to do for the country, and hopefully they will happen, but he has lost what really gets him going — someone or something to attack.
He has found it in the media, and hopefully it is a passing phase.
It will just be curious who is next.