After Sean Spicer banned live broadcasts of press briefings, many long-suffering White House correspondents are openly wondering whether it’s worth the hassle anymore.
Nearly every president in office, at one time or another, is confronted with a near-impossible decision.
Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus. Truman relieving General MacArthur. Kennedy’s blockade of Cuba during the missile crisis. And now, the great question of President Donald Trump’s era: does he care more about his image? Or about his ratings?
The president’s unquenchable thirst for the attention of “the crooked media” and his ravenous hunger to punish them is the pushmi-pullyu of the Trump era—the political equivalent of what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. But as Trump’s faith in his press shop reportedly wears thinner with every briefing gone awry, the White House communications team appears ready to make the president’s choice for him.
On Monday, reporters were barred from broadcasting live video or audio during the afternoon White House press briefing, the second briefing at which journalists were explicitly banned from making audio broadcasts since the previous Thursday. Press secretary Sean Spicer, flanked by counselor Kellyanne Conway and former Apprentice agitator-turned-communications liaison Omarosa Manigault, explained that the president’s appearance earlier with the president of Panama was enough for the whole class to share.