The decision drew strong rebukes from a multitude of news organizations and will of course only heighten tensions between the press and the administration.
CNN, The New York Times, The Hill, Politico, BuzzFeed, the Daily Mail, BBC, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Daily and The Huffington Post were the outlets barred from today's briefing. These organizations have reported what has been considered critical or unfavorable stories about the present administration and have therefore been frequent targets for their ire as well as that of Donald Trumps.
White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham responded to questions about the exclusions saying that...
“Claims that outlets were excluded are not factual. The pool was there, so various media mediums were represented. ”
Sean "alternative facts" Spicer said of the blacklisting...
“I think that we have shown an abundance of of accessibility. We’ve brought more reporters into this process. … We’ve actually gone above and beyond making ourselves, our team and our briefing room more accessible than probably any prior administration. I think you can take that to the bank.”
The barring of the media should not come as a complete surprise as Spicer had said prior to the start of the administration that the White House may skip televised daily briefings in favor of an off-camera briefing with reporters. In addition to that there is always the precedent set by then candidate Trump who blacklisted nearly a dozen outlets during the 2016 election.
That being said it was a more than highly unusual move for the White House to hand-pick outlets to attend daily, on-the-record briefings with spokespeople, which are typically open for all reporters to attend.
Media experts have agreed that today's stunt was in fact a petty and desperate attempt to change the narrative from Donald Trump and his administrations inept and incompetent first month in office.
Both the Associated Press and Time magazine, which were allowed to enter, boycotted out of solidarity with those news organizations kept out.