It’s a really weird day when I agree with Mike ‘Payola’ Allen (in the email thingie, again), and his last bullet point is, well, on point:
With all the legitimate gripes reporters have with this White House …perhaps the least worthy of your (or their) time and attention is the WWE-style smackdown over briefings. Every day, the White House hides or dodges. Every day, reporters protest and whine.
Here’s an idea: Quit going.
- Even if the spokespeople were fully looped in, appeared on camera, and shot straight, what would you miss by blowing it off? There are transcripts and this thing called Twitter, where the rare newsy nugget will quickly appear.
- Truth is, with cable and the internet, the briefings were pretty useless, even pre-Trump. Government officials are paid to make little news, and spin the best take they can. It’s low-grade propaganda at best, and full-blown B.S. at worst.
- You’re wasting time in your day you’ll never get back. For a White House reporter who doesn’t work in the building, it can take a good chunk of the workday to get to the briefing, sit through it, then complain about it afterward.
- Work plugged-in sources instead. It’s not as if this White House is a watertight ship: Aides are remarkably candid about the hour-by-hour intrigue, infighting and strategizing.
Elmira Gantry makes headlines for Breitbart and gives a boost to Captain Dildo’s little films, and all of that would be voided if our much-vaunted free press quit giving liars and brigands a boost by covering them as if legitimate. You don’t have to go far to connect the dolts to see that the press is enabling the erosion of our democracy into a third-world, mirrored sunglasses strongman junta.
But you know, ratings. News divisions should not be a Profit and Loss center. This is why we need Media Reform, which is not just about St. Ronnie killing off the Fairness Doctrine. News shouldn’t be entertainment, and if the big corporations don’t understand that bit about the public good, then they shouldn’t get their licenses renewed.