On Friday, the White House barred several media outlets from attending a meeting with press secretary Sean Spicer. Among those barred were CNN, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Politico, BuzzFeed and others, while the Associated Press and Time did not attend in protest.
Cable news networks NBC, ABC and Fox News were permitted to attend, as were Breitbart and the Washington Times.
The move was widely decried by journalists, who blasted the administration’s “authoritarian” decision and called on media organizations to stand in solidarity with the outlets barred from attendance.
Said it in 2009 & again today: Inappropriate for any White House to decide which news outlets are acceptable. https://t.co/uSq99T5XmG
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) February 24, 2017
All news organizations must refuse to attend briefings where major outlets are excluded because of critical coverage. https://t.co/tECvGX9PGZ
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) February 24, 2017
Blocking established news outlets was entirely predictable. It’s straight out of the authoritarian playbook & feature of the Trump campaign. https://t.co/lVoEcfXvBy
— Mindy Finn (@mindyfinn) February 24, 2017
If your news organization isn’t protesting this behavior, you’re part of the problem https://t.co/L7xm61vYAm
— Emily Ramshaw (@eramshaw) February 24, 2017
Proud of @TIME for boycotting White House briefing after NYT, CNN, Politico banned from gaggle. Free press has to stick together. That’s BS.
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) February 24, 2017
Can we have a round of applause for the AP and Time magazine which boycotted Sean Spicer gaggle after the NYT, WP and CNN were barred.
— Walter Shapiro (@MrWalterShapiro) February 24, 2017
Why did other TV networks and print media tacitly support Trump banning CNN from press gaggle? https://t.co/Sji9FdpgDG
— John Aravosis (@aravosis) February 24, 2017
This is really outrageous https://t.co/6nU7TfIFeI
— John Bresnahan (@BresPolitico) February 24, 2017
This has gotten nuts. Trump White House taking another page out of the Soviet playbook. https://t.co/p8qHipz8Et
— Stuart Rothenberg (@StuPolitics) February 24, 2017
White House press gaggle, circa April 2017 (artist’s conception) pic.twitter.com/dt5KgA4q2w
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) February 24, 2017
Some confusion ensued over whether today’s briefing could be described as a press gaggle, a media scrum or an otherwise informal gathering. As the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza explained:
Gaggle. Call it what you want. Certain organizations were let in and others weren’t.
That’s bad. Period. https://t.co/wyJg3auJSj
— Chris Cillizza (@TheFix) February 24, 2017
today is a great day for the word “gaggle”.
— el-p (@therealelp) February 24, 2017