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News organizations being blocked from press briefings is reminiscent of 2009 under Obama

Huffington Post

You might have heard: Reporters from news outlets including NYT, CNN, BuzzFeed, Politico and Los Angeles Times were shut out of a press briefing on Friday (New York Times), while organizations like Breitbart News and One America News Network were allowed in (CNN Media)

But did you know: After a number of news outlets were excluded from a press briefing on Friday, Michael Calderone writes that the exclusion comes with a precedent — from Obama. In October 2009, the Obama administration declared that Fox News would “no longer be treated like other news organizations.” In response, Fox News’ competitors challenged the Obama administration, and the administration ultimately backed down. But where Friday’s situation differs, Calderone explains, is that we likely won’t see the same solidarity: “Back then, the media was operating under the same general customs and traditions that had been in place for decades. But now, it is a ‘different era,’ one more ripe for exploitation by a White House. Trump can broadcast his own unfiltered messages through social media or choose from a growing stable of friendly outlets if mainstream news outlets boycott an event.”

+ “One of the problems of any sort of collective action is the growing fragmentation of the group. Will Breitbart ever agree to anything with The Washington Post?” James Warren writes (Poynter); CNN said in Friday in response, “We’ll keep reporting regardless” (Financial Review), to which Jim Rutenberg responds: “There should be, however, legitimate questions about whether that reporting should include blanket coverage of the next speech Mr. Trump gives in which he calls honest journalists dishonest or ‘the opposition.’ Those kinds of polemical statements are no longer ‘news’ (defined as ‘new’) but rather part of a repetitive, antipress, negative branding campaign” (New York Times)

+ Press secretary Sean Spicer is trying to crack down on leaks out of the White House, holding a meeting where staffers had to hand over their phones to “prove they had nothing to hide” (Politico)

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