An eye-opening sentence has appeared in several important news stories about the Trump administration in recent days: The White House did not respond to requests for comment.
Not “the White House declined to comment” or “We’ll get right back to you.” But no response at all when reporters have asked for the White House’s take on developments.
At a time when President Trump has declared the news media the “enemy of the American people,” the official silence from the White House has left some journalists wondering whether the non-responses are mere indifference or a strategy to discredit journalists by pointing to flaws after publication instead of beforehand.
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) February 21, 2017
For its part, the White House — which, yes, responded to this story — blames reporters for not trying hard enough to get the White House’s side of the story.
“We have an unbelievable track record of being responsive to the media,” press secretary Sean Spicer said in an interview. Some reporters, he said, don’t follow established procedures for getting a response or do the “bare minimum” on deadline, leaving officials little or no time to reply.
“Where’s the story or question about how many reporters fail to write or tweet without ever calling or writing” for official comment, Spicer asked.
Variations of the White House-did-not-respond line appeared in the Wall Street Journal’s revelationlast week that members of the intelligence community have been withholding information from President Trump out of concern that it will be leaked; in a New York Times story about the early outlines of Trump’s federal budget plans; and in an Associated Press report Friday morning that the administration had drafted an executive order to mobilize as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to help “round up” undocumented immigrants.
Shortly after the AP story appeared, Spicer told reporters traveling on Air Force One with the president that the Guard story was “100 percent not true . . . It is irresponsible to be saying this.” He also said, “I wish you guys had asked before you tweeted.” Continue reading the full article here
This is so perfect! Yes, give them enough rope and they’ll hang themselves, let the media be it’s on weapon. I can’t think of a better way to make the press get it together and stop doing a disservice to Americans.