Is it wrong to exclude members of the media from White House press briefings?

The White House blocked credentialed news outlets from attending an off-camera briefing with Sean Spicer. Many came to the media's defense, saying the move is borderline authoritarian and is especially troubling given the president's...

Is it wrong to exclude members of the media from White House press briefings?

The White House blocked credentialed news outlets from attending an off-camera briefing with Sean Spicer. Many came to the media's defense, saying the move is borderline authoritarian and is especially troubling given the president's attacks on the media in recent days. The White House denies blocking any media organizations. Trump's supporters are defending the move, saying the White House has the right to pick who can or cannot attend a briefing. What do you think? 

PERSPECTIVES

President Trump's critics say blocking the media is a dangerous and unprecedented move by the White House. People are worried by the Trump administration's increasingly hostile rhetoric toward the media. In December White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told Politico that part of what makes democracy work is open access to the government by the media -- otherwise it might as well be a dictatorship. 

'Look, there's a big difference between a campaign where it is a private venue using private funds and a government entity,' Spicer replied. 'I think we have a respect for the press when it comes to the government. That is something you can't ban an entity from. Conservative, liberal or otherwise,' he continued, 'that's what makes a democracy a democracy versus a dictatorship. I think there is a vastly different model when it comes to government and what should be expected, and that's on both sides.'

Some people defended the decision to block some members of the press by pointing out that President Obama did the same thing when he was in office. The White House has the right to choose who they speak with and who they don't want to speak with. Ari Fleischer, George W. Bush's Press Secretary shared a link to this article, saying the White House has the right to pick and choose.

Mr. Earnest said the unannounced sessions with the president allowed Mr. Obama to speak more candidly than he can in public, especially about issues that defy easy answers. Columnists who have attended one of the more than a dozen private meetings with the president in the last seven years are directed not to quote him, disclose what was discussed or use the information they gleaned in further reporting. The attendees are not allowed to even acknowledge that the discussion took place.

Calm down everyone. Press secs SHOULD brief/gaggle w all press. But WH staffs & POTUSes often meet w who they want. https://t.co/qefAJdCNJu

-- Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) February 24, 2017

White House has the privilege to ban any unhonest media from access. all media can still report what they want,this is not dictatorship https://t.co/tOUjkpdvhM

-- Vicki Chao (@lavenderv88) February 24, 2017

@JLRees @FoxNews @ShepNewsTeam @WhiteHouse @POTUS not true
They can say what they want and he doesn't have to invite to a closed meeting..

-- Carol Moson (@carolmoson) February 24, 2017

@WhatThe5K - The WH (& others) denies press credentials ALL. THE. TIME. This just seems worse bc these are well-established, trusted orgs.

-- Kristen Cincotta (@kscincotta) February 24, 2017

Dear Whitehouse,

IT'S NOT YOUR JOB TO DECIDE. WE--THE PEOPLE--WILL DECIDE WHAT'S REAL AND WHAT'S FAKE.

#FreedomOfThePress

-- Jackie Ohhhh (@always_persist) February 24, 2017

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

If you're a news outlet allowed into a Trump White House gaggle, you need to ask yourself: what am I doing wrong?

-- David Frum (@davidfrum) February 24, 2017

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