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Media Politics

White House Blocks Media Outlets From Informal Press Meeting…Liberals Forget About When Obama did the SAME THING

Written by Philip Hodges

It’s important to note that this was an informal press meeting. In other words, it wasn’t the usual formal press conference that Sean Spicer leads. It was what they call a press gaggle. Yes, like a gaggle of geese. It’s named for the collective honking sound reporters make when they’re shouting questions at the press secretary.

Nevertheless, a few outlets – CNN, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and Politico – weren’t included in the press gaggle. In addition, a few others boycotted the informal press meeting, including the Associated Press and Time. 

As you would expect, this caused an eruption from the media, and it wasn’t limited to just those who weren’t included.

The executive editor of the New York Times stated:

Nothing like this has ever happened at the White House in our long history of covering multiple administrations of different parties. 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.

Jake Tapper said it was ‘unAmerican’:

Even Fox News’s Bret Baier weighed in, showing solidarity with those excluded networks:

But Ari Fleischer – a veteran White House press secretary – said everyone should just calm down and stop hyperventilating:

Joel Pollak of Breitbart explains that this uproar is actually fake news. Obama did the same thing. It’s just that there was no outrage then:

Obama’s private briefings for liberal members of the media, which excluded conservatives, were well-documented. A few:

  • December 2012: Several journalists reported that MSNBC hosts were meeting privately with President Obama to discuss the impending “fiscal cliff” fight.
  • May 2013: NPR’s Ari Shapiro reported that President Obama was meeting privately with “lefty columnists,” but hastened to add that there was “nothing nefarious” about it.
  • November 2013: President Obama met again with liberal journalists, as Obamacare struggled with the failure of and other problems.
  • March 2015: Politico’s media reporter, Hadas Gold, reported that “a group of journalists and columnists,” all on the left, met privately with President Obama, but the White House refused to say “who else was at the meeting or what was discussed.”

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

About the author

Philip Hodges

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