News outlets blocked from White House


Mike Finnegan

At the order of Press Secretary Sean Spicer, numerous mainstream media organizations who have published content critical of President Donald Trump were excluded from a press gaggle last week. Outlets excluded include The New York Times, CNN, the Los Angeles Times, Politico, BBC, Buzzfeed and the Guardian. While the AP, USA Today and Times were invited, they chose not to attend in protest of the administration’s actions.

The New York Times, CNN, Wall Street Journal, White House Correspondents Association and many others published editorials decrying the actions of the White House, calling the move undemocratic and an attempt to weaken the free press.

Spicer and Trump administration spokeswoman Sarah Sanders defended the move by saying that they choose a representative pool of outlets to attend.

“Nothing like this has ever happened at the White House in our long history of covering multiple administrations of different parties,” stated New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet. “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.”

While many have exclaimed the move by Trump to be unprecedented, others point to Obama’s occasional invites to off-the-record meetings with select journalists. However, the meetings were privately arranged, rather than the national press briefing that occurred last Friday.