President Donald Trump has never enjoyed a cozy relationship with the media and it’s getting testy again.
Networks and newspapers continue to cite anonymous sources as they press hard for a scandal they can link to the president.
This week, the Tuesday White House press briefing ended abruptly after the press corps refused to move on from the latest conspiracy theories about Russia.
“The reason that the president is frustrated,” said White House spokesman Sean Spicer, “is because there’s a perpetuation of false narratives, a use of unnamed sources over and over again, about things that are happening that don’t ultimately happen and I think that is troubling.”
Challenged by a CNN reporter to give an example of “fake news,” Spicer did so: the BBC and the New York Times wrongly claimed that Trump had disrespected Italy’s prime minister at the G-7 meeting in Europe.
Despite Spicer giving an example as demanded, a New York Times reporter whined to Spicer that reporters sometimes make mistakes.
Newt Gingrich told Fox News there’s no law that says the president or even Spicer have to come out every day and take a beating from the press.
“They don’t care about information,” Gingrich told the cable news channel. “Their job is to humiliate Spicer, find a way to catch him off-guard, play gotcha games.”
Gingrich, who is known for his own combative skills with the media, went on to suggest that the Trump administration should end the daily press briefings.
Communications expert Kristi Hamrick says long, off-the-cuff press conferences are always risky.
“The media has an interest in embarrassing people. They have an interest in causing controversy,” she says, echoing Gingrich’s complaints.
She says communications with the media could mostly be done in written form, such as “white papers” or policy papers.
“The message needs to be controlled,” says Hamrick, “and the venue needs to be controlled.”
Copyright American Family News. Reprinted with permission.