Free Press… or Fake News?

After CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins persisted in asking President Trump questions he didn’t want to answer, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and communications chief Bill Shine told Collins she could not attend the Rose Garden event with the European Commission president which was open to all other members of the credentialed media, because Collins’ previous questions were “inappropriate.”

Presidents often don’t like the questions posed by reporters, and they can certainly chose not to answer, but for Trump or his staff to single out one reporter because the President didn’t like the questions is a rather chilling precedent.

During the Obama Administration, conservatives were upset, rightly so, because that administration investigated reporter James Rosen for apparently reporting on leaked material from the State Department. But Rosen wasn’t banned from covering the White House.

The fact that the Trump White House clearly went too far in banning Collins from the Rose Garden was illustrated by the fact that not only were “liberal” media outlets outraged, but so were conservative outlets such as Fox News

The President spends an immense amount of time and Twitter complaining about “fake news,” yet he not only refuses to answer questions on current news, but he bans the reporter who asks them? This is behavior more like third-world dictatorships or Putin’s Russia.

So… is Trump going to ban every reporter for pushing “fake news” if they ask him embarrassing questions that bear on ongoing investigations? Or other matters we should know about?

3 thoughts on “Free Press… or Fake News?”

  1. Tom says:

    My view is that we are already well down the slippery slope to a society like 1984, and have been moving that way certainly since GW Bush’s response to 9/11. But its not just the US because in some instances such as in Australian society, others are already ahead of us.

    This is the response, in the BBC News to Facebook and its “Fake News” in the (used to be rational) UK.

    … The UK faces a “democratic crisis” due to the spread of “pernicious views” and the manipulation of personal data, a parliamentary committee is set to warn.

    The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee has been investigating disinformation and fake news following the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

    In its first report it will suggest social media companies should face tighter regulation. …

    Recall … Because rulers can move people with words, they can come to believe that words, rather than actions, can change the world … and if the leader is aware of such then getting rid of “Fake News” is job number one. It works! Ask Putin.

    1. Hannibal Crozier says:

      Looks like trump asked already and the banning was his debut.

  2. Mind you I can understand that when being with another world leader you don’t really want to be asked domestic questions.

    I remember well feeling quite embarrassed for Clinton when even on his trips to foreign countries your American press kept asking him about his affair.

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