Price of a free press: Political retribution | Arkansas Blog

Friday, February 24, 2017

Price of a free press: Political retribution

Posted By on Fri, Feb 24, 2017 at 2:53 PM

click to enlarge cnn.jpg

CNN reports:

CNN and other news organizations were blocked Friday from an off-camera White House press briefing.

There was no immediate explanation from the White House.

The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and Politico were also excluded from the meeting, which is known as a gaggle and is less formal than the televised Q-and-A session in the White House briefing room.

Conservative media organizations Breitbart News, The Washington Times and One America News Network were allowed in.

The Associated Press and Time magazine boycotted the briefing because of how it was handled.

The White House Correspondents Association also protested the move.

Hours earlier, at the Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington, President Donald Trump mocked and disparaged the news media. He said that much of the press represents "the enemy of the people."

Watch CPAC speakers and follow today's politics news on CNN's live blog.
Well. This is familiar territory.

Gov. Mike Huckabee refused conventional press services to the Arkansas Times because of our critical reporting. U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton's publicly paid staff likewise refuses routine services to the Arkansas Times. The same generally for U.S. Sen. John Boozman. U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman's press aide won't return my calls. We get limited responses from the staffs of U.S. Reps. French Hill and Rick Crawford.

That's the price we pay, primarily, for my opi
nion writing. But the cutoffs also have been applied to our other reporters

I get it. And I've mentioned it from time to time. But I also don't think the public is much concerned about the difficulties the press face in doing the job. These freeze-outs also have their benefits. People raced to give us dirt on Mike Huckabee and there was an abundant pile to dig.

PS: Gov. Asa Hutchinson's staff has remained accessible, though I don't think you'd call him an admirer of our point of view. So good on him again.

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