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WH Correspondents’ Assn. Presidents Rip Trump and Clinton

The outgoing and incoming presidents of the White House Correspondents’ Association, respectively Carol Lee of the Wall Street Journal and Jeff Mason of Reuters, have written an op-ed in USA Today criticizing the treatment of the press by Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

From the piece:

The White House Correspondents’ Association is alarmed by the treatment of the press in the 2016 presidential campaign.

The public’s right to know is infringed if certain reporters are banned from a candidate’s events because the candidate doesn’t like a story they have written or broadcast, as Donald Trump has done.

Similarly, refusing to regularly answer questions from reporters in a press conference, as Hillary Clinton has, deprives the American people of hearing from their potential commander-in-chief in a format that is critical to ensuring he or she is accountable for policy positions and official acts . . .

The United States will not have a free press if its president gets to choose which journalists and which media organizations are allowed access to the executive branch. We will not have a truly free press and an informed electorate if the president doesn’t believe he or she should be held accountable to inquiries from the media.

As a White House reporter, I am a member of the White House Correspondents’ Association. I know this won’t be popular with some of you, but I completely agree with the conclusions in the piece, and I applaud Lee and Mason for taking an aggressive stance.

Hillary Clinton’s failure to answer questions is reprehensible. She has a lot to hide, and she’s hiding it. Though I haven’t experienced it myself, her lackeys no doubt try to intimidate the press when negative stories that are written, just like the Obama people did.

Trump takes all press scrutiny personally and doesn’t seem to have any conception of the roll of reporters in performing accountability on politicians. His decision to ban many reporters from his press conferences stinks of the actions of a third-world despot. And his demagogic press bashing during his speeches is a play to the crowd that is unhealthy for our democracy.

To be sure, the press has undermined itself by failing to restrain its liberal bias. But most mainstream news reporters I know — not all, but most — do their best to keep their own agenda out of it and honestly report the news. Bias creeps in anyway, because we’re human. But the cause of accountability for politicians is so important that even if there is some bias, a potential president demonizing and banning the press is a danger to the republic.

Presidential candidates should allow access to all responsible journalists, even those with an opinion, whether from the left or the right. The Founders enshrined freedom of the press in the First Amendment, and for good reason.

30 Responses to WH Correspondents’ Assn. Presidents Rip Trump and Clinton

  1. With due respect to honest journalists ( Keith included), the press has brought some of this on themselves. We DO need a free press, free to ask any question, and we need leaders willing to take the heat and reply in concise, honest answers.

    The tawdry relationship between the press and the WH and candidates has deteriorated, even on the left.

    Gotcha journalism has found its way into our society much like in the UK. Questioners sometimes ask queries that are more likely to trip up the person behind the mike than they are to discover fact on the topic.

    Leaders have become overly cautious when replying. Telepromtrs are now the rule of prepared speech, much less risky.

    I guess its a sign of the times, but I see both sides of the issue and wish we could find better decorum in the relationship between public leaders and the press.


    • The Obama lap dogs complaining? How can this be. They have sucked up to dear Leader as required.

      They are all obedient to the Left, how dare anyone complain about there sucking up?

  2. When it became clear and obvious that the traditional, corporate “press” refused to properly vet candidate Obama back in the day, when they went along with Obama’s handlers’ casting Obama as “The One”, as the conciliator, as the Savior of the country, gleefully using photographs of Obama with a strategically placed halo around his head, posing with Greek columns behind him, ala a modern day Caesar, etc, then the press branded themselves as corrupt, biased and incompetent. When that same press thought it perfectly normal to dig up every ounce of dirt on Romney, or anyone running against Obama, and went on for weeks, days, months with that “dirt”, it simply reinforced that perception of the corruption endemic in the press.

    The public has a confidence rating of six percent in the American press. 94 percent have serious questions about the trustworthiness of the press, in other words. There’s a reason for that. And we know what it is.

  3. So sorry but the press and the media have willingly accepted the role of cringing servile propagandists for Dictator Imam Obama, the utterly corrupt and careless Hillary Clinton and the rest of the democratic communist party. They are playing a huge role in the destruction of our Republic and now they are whining about their deserved treatment as cringing toadies and bootlickers as they desperately try to coverup the crimes of Obama and Hillary?

    I don’t blame Trump’s attitude towards the media. They are his sworn enemies and are out to destroy him while protecting a dictator and a traitorsous criminal.

    The press and media have failed in bringing us the truth and at holding all of these politicians and government heads accountable for their many crimes.

    They are reaping what they have sowed.

  4. Maybe if they had this sentiment when Candy What’s Her Name gave Obama his assist during the debates I might consider their opinions. Or if they had done it at any time during the Obama Administration. But they did not.

    Now all of a sudden Trump and Clinton are on the hook and the entire Obama Administration skates. I don’t think so.

    • And Junius’ point — the media failure to act as an independent voice, reporting honestly to inform the public, has contributed greatly to the transformation/destruction of the Republic.

      So, I am just not buying it.

  5. I agree that Trump is out of line to ban certain members of the press, but disagree about Trump’s press bashing being unfair. Our best defense against an agenda-driven press is not in their own policing (like that is ever going to happen), but it is in allowing Trump, or any candidate, to call them out, however they want, on their ‘gotcha’ tactics and the bias that is not-so-obvious to many.

    • “Trump takes all press scrutiny personally and doesn’t seem to have any conception of the roll of reporters in performing accountability on politicians”

      The problem is that reporters often don’t understand their role (sp Keith!) in performing accountability.

  6. Trump has hurt your feelings? The press Corps is a bunch of Ginsburgs. At least Trump holds press conferences. Takes every question. 224 days since Queen Hill has handled a full press conference. One more thing who trusts the IRS? You can bet Lerner and friends have already fed Trumps taxes to the DNC.

  7. The press has become so biased – what right have they to claim a place anywhere? It’s not as if they are conveying the facts to the people.

  8. Boys and girls, the party is almost over. Hope you enjoyed being a part of the political inner circle.
    But never you worry, there will be another select group who will pander to the political elite and some of you will prove to be useful tools to the next candidate elect.
    Forgive me my cynicism…us little people – political outsiders – live in the real world. We ask a lot of questions that are never answered.
    Like…where were you in ’08 and ’12?
    Quit your whining and try to become journalists of integrity. You know, the one you dreamed of becoming.

  9. In a perfect world, I agree with you Keith. However, it is no longer perfect and it has become perverse. The press has become supporters, surrogates, excuse makers, apologists for this administration. A big part of the problem is White House/Press Corp Nepotism. How many relatives of the press are White House Staff or aides? How many former members of the Press are currently working for the administration?

    Perhaps, WHCA should suspend or cancel a reporters membership or credentials who has family working in the administration? The WHCA Members have brought this on themselves for being an extension of this administration. Now, they have started doing the exact same thing for HRC. The MSM,CNN and MSNBC are nothing but media centers for the DNC.

    The WHCA wants respect? Then become real reporters ………

    Of Course, I am not including Keith in the above comments. If all reporters acted like him the country would be much better.

  10. The press has no one to blame but themselves. Bias is expected, but outright enabling the Left’s agenda is totally corrupt.

    • If I were in charge I would close the door on most reporters as they have proven they are not out to report the news but to make it.

  11. Nope.

    After the reprehensible job the ‘press’ has done since 2008, they have lost any and all reasons for complaining how they’re treated.