The White House continues it’s most recent antic: shutting out the press and the public. Press secretary Sean Spicer will answer a barrage of questions from reporters in a restricted setting on Monday, according to reports.
The press briefing will not be allowed to broadcast on TV networks, except for the audio of Spicer’s responses to reporters. In recent times, concession had not been allowed up until last week after protest from the press.
On Tuesday, Spicer said, “We have a tremendous respect for the First Amendment,” and that the daily briefing is just “one aspect of what we do.”
President of the White House Correspondents’ Association, Jeff Mason, said he had raised the issue with Spicer and Sanders. In a memo to members of the association, Mason wrote that “gaggles are not a substitute for the open back-and-forth between reporters and administration officials that regular televised briefings allow” and that reporters “need video and sound to tell Americans what the government is doing in their name.”
“We believe strongly that Americans should be able to watch and listen to senior government officials face questions from an independent news media,” he wrote. “We are not satisfied with the current state of play, and we will work hard to change it.”
Restricting the White House press briefings indicate a reduced transparency and hostility toward the press. White House Chief Strategist, Steve Bannon when asked about the off-camera briefings, responded in a text that, “Sean got fatter.”