Mainstream media knows that President Trump does not need them to get his message out
President-elect Donald Trump has had love – hate with the media and it remains to be seen if that continues once he enters the White House. As he celebrates Thanksgiving weekend at his Florida White House, the press continues to brief the world via Twitter.
After he scolded the media in person at a meeting at Trump Tower last week. The mainstream media is understanding they have never dealt with someone like President Trump. Let’s be honest he used ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX NEWS, PBS and other major media outlets during the Republican nomination process to help him gain billions of dollars of free ads to beat his 16 other opponents.
There has never been a more media savvy Commander in Chief than Donald Trump. His knowledge of how things work gives him a great advantage over the mainstream media because he knows how and to use them as well as how to get around them.
White House reporters are worried about access to Trump, who didn’t allow reporters on his campaign plane and ditched media staking out Trump Tower last week to have dinner with his family at New York’s 21 Club.
The president-elect’s frequent threats to the press have added to a sense that the rules for covering this White House might be different.
Trump’s transition team says it is committed to having a press pool, which allows for a small group of reporters to remain stationed near the president to document his movements. The pool was on hand for the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan, and when George W. Bush was on the move on 9/11.
The Washington Post, New York Times, Politico, The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post and Comcast-Universal owned Spanish language out Univision spent brief periods on the “media blacklist,” during the campaign. But all of the aforementioned media outlets are part of the White House press corp.
But there are no laws requiring that an administration maintain a press pool or even that news outlets have access to administration officials, the briefing room or White House grounds.
During the campaign President-elect Trump used Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Youtube very effectively. His first two addresses have been issued via Youtube, totally bi-passing traditional media.
All of the networks were forced to air the Youtube video produced by the Trump Transition Team. Trump’s key point-person Steve Bannon of Breitbart, who served as the campaign CEO and he has used social media to get the Trump message directly to the people.
There is no reason to think that President Trump won’t have a White House press corp. but at the same time use social media to make sure it is his message and not the “mainstream media,” that controls his message.
Just for a bit of historical perspective according to a recent report from the Smithsonian historical outlet the first year there was an official White House Press Corp. was in 1914. There have been individual press credentials pulled over the years, but there has never been a news media outlet expelled from White House coverage.
The Smithsonian report stated that according to Joshua Keating at Foreign Policy, to get a press pass to the White House briefing room, a reporter needs to pass a few checkpoints. First, he or she needs to be approved by the Standing Committee of Correspondents, an association of reporters that approves press passes for Congress.
To get into the White House, reporters then need to go through a Secret Service background check. Keating says there about 2,000 reporters with “hard passes” allowing them access to the White House, which can be renewed every year. While the White House does have the power to revoke passes, it rarely pulls passes except for security reasons or unusual circumstances, like a 2001 incident in when freelancer Trude Feldman was caught rifling through a press aide’s desk drawer. Even then, Feldman was suspended for 90 days, but didn’t have her pass unilaterally revoked