The Watering Hole, Monday, January 23rd, 2017: Freedom of the Press

We’ve all ripped both network and cable news organizations for their role in aiding and abetting this abomination of a Presidential election. But since the Orange Shitgibbon has won, and he and his spokesgoblins are taking more active steps to label any accurate and unflattering reporting of their words and activities as “fake news” by the “dishonest press”, this should be considered a very serious attack on the First Amendment right of Freedom of the Press. After having previously, in a fit of pique, revoked The Washington Post’s press credentials during the campaign, now the new Trump administration has shut down access to and from CNN.

According to a MediaMatters article:

President Donald Trump and his team continued their unprecedented attempts to delegitimize and blacklist CNN by refusing to have a representative appear on CNN’s Sunday political talk show, State of the Union, while booking appearances on the other major political talk shows on ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox Broadcasting Co.
At the top of the January 22 edition of CNN’s State of the Union, host Jake Tapper said that his show “asked the Trump White House for a member of the new administration to join us this morning, but they declined.”

 

During Trump’s first press conference as president-elect on January 11, Trump refused to take a question from CNN senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta, calling his network “fake news” and “terrible.” Following the event, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer admitted to threatening to remove Acosta from the press conference and later demanded an apology. Trump ally and Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich responded to the incident by asserting that Trump should use the altercation to “shrink and isolate” CNN and eventually “close down the elite press.” Acosta and his colleagues from across the media condemned Trump’s treatment of CNN.

 

The Trump team’s refusal to appear on CNN came one day after it declined to air the live feed of Spicer’s first press conference after the inauguration, where Spicer blatantly lied about the size of inauguration crowds. According to Variety’s Brian Steinberg, “CNN’s refusal to take the live feed suggests executives there are reluctant to put false statements on air, and, what’s more, do not think the new White House press representative is entirely credible.” From the January 21 report:

 

“CNN’s decision to not air the press conference live illustrates a recognition that the role of the press must be different under Trump. When the White House holds press briefings to promote demonstrably false information and refuses to take questions, then press ‘access’ becomes meaningless at best and complicit at worst,” said Danna Young, an associate professor at the University of Delaware who studies politics and the media. “Democracy works best when journalists have access to the executive branch, of course. But that holds true if and only if that access leads to verifiable, accurate information. The decision on behalf of CNN to wait and verify before airing it live suggests that the media are adapting quickly to this new era.”

 

To be certain, news outlets routinely make decisions about whether to air press events live, usually based on projections about news value. But this press conference, held just a day after the President’s inauguration, would have been a hot prospect for a cable-news outlet, and could have sparked hours of debate and follow-up on CNN’s schedule. In an unusual and aggressive maneuver, CNN aired its regular weekday lineup this Saturday, underscoring heavy interest in breaking news of a series of massive protests by women across the nation in response to Trump’s presidency as well as the new President’s first few days in office.

While I am still outraged by the fact that CNN had hired Corey Lewandowski fresh from the Trump team campaign, and paid the lying POS good money to NOT say anything bad about Trump, maybe, just maybe, CNN can redeem itself by employing real investigative journalism. There’s a lot to dig into in all aspects of Trump’s life/taxes/business practices/Russian connections/conflicts of interest, and a 24-hour news network is what’s needed to get to the bottom of Trump’s “alternate facts” swamp.

What do you say, CNN? Do the right thing, or cave to a tyrant?

This is our Open Thread–comments welcome.

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13 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Monday, January 23rd, 2017: Freedom of the Press

  1. Walter Chronkite is dead. No one is willing, capable or they’re too afraid to fill his shoes.

  2. If the Trump Cartel wants to really get even with CNN, they would make Kelly Anne Conway and Katrina Pierson both exclusively available to the network.

  3. I agree, CNN should focus on outing Trump and his corruption on a 24/7 basis. Let this 1st amendment doohickey come back and bitch slap him right in the twat.

  4. ‘Twould be nice if all the media boycotted his Press Conferences. Not give any air time to “alternative facts”. Stop feeding a megalomaniac’s insatiable need for the limelight.

    • Yes, it would be great if Trump called a presser, and only the National Enquirer showed up.

  5. There is a reason they are referred to as the Fourth Estate.
    A free and unfettered press is critical to the success of a democracy.
    “The functionaries of every government have propensities to command at will the liberty and property of their constituents. There is no safe deposit for these but with the people themselves, nor can they be safe with them without information. Where the press is free, and every man able to read, all is safe.” –Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816. ME 14:384

  6. I watch Naked News. I get more accurate and timely news from strippers than I do from anything on the main channels.

  7. Maybe Orange Julius Caesar’s kids should launch their own cable news channel to help Daddy and to broadcast their alternate truths to all of their mindless, ignorant, gullible supporters. Isn’t fellow scumbag Roger Ailes looking for work?

  8. I think we’re stuck with Trump until at least the Midterms. (Barring anything unforseen. He doesn’t seem to be in the most robust health, to be honest).

    If he goes before the midterms, Pence steps in for the 2+ years left on the term. He can run again, but then he’s done as a subsequent run would put him over the 10 year limit.

    If he goes after the midterms, Pence steps in with less than 2 years left on the term, and will be clear to run twice on his own.

    My guess is the Republicans will run on the idea of impeaching Trump to help bolster their numbers, and make themselves look like the heroes.

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