The Trump White House Didn't Set a Precedent By Booting a CNN Reporter, They Observed It

Screengrab from

Screengrab from


Yesterday, the White House communications director banned CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins from a media opportunity with President Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker because Collins wasn’t capable of upholding even the low standards of conduct we’ve come to expect of them. I tend to be broadly supportive of this and I think the press briefings would be more useful to the public if they weren’t the equivalent of an MMA cage fight.

My colleague, Joe Cunningham, thinks we should be more circumspect in cheering on a White House tossing reporters who give the president a hard time. I encourage you to read the piece.

What happened yesterday was not precedent setting. To the contrary, it simply carried on a tradition pioneered by the previous administration.

I encourage you to read the whole thread because it covers how an administration acts when it is truly out to control the news the public receives. It also demonstrates that giving hostile coverage to a White House is not bean bag.

So, the worst you can say about the Trump White House is that they are following procedures endorsed by the Obama White House. Conservative media has nothing to fear from this because conservative media, to the extent such a beast even exists, is ignored and marginalized by the reigning progressive press. Katy Tur, for instance, refuses to let her guests call Daily Caller staffers journalists. Even now, I can hear the chorus warming up to sing “whataboutism” and “we’re better than that.” I think this, from Michael Anton’s “Flight 93 Election” essay, sums up where I stand:

It’s absurd to assume that any of this would stop or slow—would do anything other than massively intensify—in a Hillary administration. It’s even more ridiculous to expect that hitherto useless conservative opposition would suddenly become effective. For two generations at least, the Left has been calling everyone to their right Nazis. This trend has accelerated exponentially in the last few years, helped along by some on the Right who really do seem to merit—and even relish—the label. There is nothing the modern conservative fears more than being called “racist,” so alt-right pocket Nazis are manna from heaven for the Left. But also wholly unnecessary: sauce for the goose. The Left was calling us Nazis long before any pro-Trumpers tweeted Holocaust denial memes. And how does one deal with a Nazi—that is, with an enemy one is convinced intends your destruction? You don’t compromise with him or leave him alone. You crush him.

So what do we have to lose by fighting back? Only our Washington Generals jerseys—and paychecks. But those are going away anyway. Among the many things the “Right” still doesn’t understand is that the Left has concluded that this particular show need no longer go on. They don’t think they need a foil anymore and would rather dispense with the whole bother of staging these phony contests in which each side ostensibly has a shot.

If you haven’t noticed, our side has been losing consistently since 1988. We can win midterms, but we do nothing with them. Call ours Hannibalic victories. After the Carthaginian’s famous slaughter of a Roman army at Cannae, he failed to march on an undefended Rome, prompting his cavalry commander to complain: “you know how to win a victory, but not how to use one.” And, aside from 2004’s lackluster 50.7%, we can’t win the big ones at all.

Then we get into the pure stupid stuff:

Literally, the First Amendment doesn’t mention the Executive Branch. Literally, the First Amendment doesn’t require any part of the government to give any information to the press. Literally, White House press conferences didn’t happen until the Wilson administration. Literally, there is no effect upon the First Amendment if the White House admits journalists by lottery or weight or, my preference, hat size so we could keep the pinheads from CNN out.

These people try to pretend they are heroic truth-tellers, they are the firemen running into a burning democracy to save the truth. In reality, they are money grubbing goobers who do what they do for page clicks and ratings. Booting Kaitlan Collins from an event might inconvenience both of CNN’s viewers but it didn’t have an effect on the story that was happening. And I think it is misplaced hope to think that the left doesn’t intend to do to us exactly what it has been trying to do for decades, which is silence us and drive us from the public square.

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