President-elect Donald Trump essentially just announced that he will be banning certain press agencies from the White House press corps. In an interview on FOX and Friends today, he said that he won’t be moving the press room to a larger room, meaning that some people will “not be able to get in.”
“The press went crazy, so I said, ‘Let’s not move it.’ But some people in the press will not be able to get in. We have so many people that want to go in, so we’ll have to just have to pick the people to go into the room. I’m sure other people will be thrilled about that.”
Having Trump pick and choose which people will be “allowed in the room” gives him the ability to ban media who try to challenge his position on reality, call him out on his lies, and report on stories that paint Trump in a negative light, like NBC and CNN, who have earned Trump’s ire and the label of “fake news” for reporting on Trump taking credit for job creation he had nothing to do with and the possibility that Trump is being blackmailed by the Russian government, respectively.
This is a very disturbing development for our nation’s vibrant independent press and a slide into Putinist-style information control, where the press boxes are filled with pro-Trump outlets like Breitbart and FOX News, creating a public information sphere where criticism of the President is repressed and the truth distorted. It is more important than ever that as Americans, we stay informed and support independent media while we still can.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.