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Bloggers? Did Someone Say Bloggers? 

bloggers

Oliver Laughland reports: Talk radio hosts and bloggers could be invited to official White House press briefings once the Trump administration takes office, under a highly irregular proposal being floated that may also remove briefings from the West Wing.

“Some of the media outlets that I deal with are fake news more so than anybody. I could name them, but I won’t bother. You have a few sitting right in front of us.”

Trump’s pick for White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, said on Sunday that due to “off the chart” interest in the new administration, the president-elect was considering moving briefings from the James S Brady press briefing room, which has been used by presidents to address the media since 1970, to a venue with a greater capacity.

“They’re very, very dishonest people, but I think it’s just something we’re going to have to live with. I guess the advantage I have is that I can speak back.”

— President-elect Donald Trump

A report published by Esquire magazine on Saturday indicated the venue could be inside the Old Executive Office Building, just west of the White House.

Spicer argued the proposal would mean “you can involve more people, be more transparent, have more accessibility”. He suggested that this would mean outlets that are not traditionally part of the White House press corps would be able to ask questions during presidential press briefings.

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“The WHCA will fight to keep the briefing room and West Wing access to senior administration officials open. We object strenuously to any move that would shield the president and his advisers from the scrutiny of an on-site White House press corps.”

— Jeff Mason, the WHCA president and Reuters White House correspondent

There’s a lot of talk radio and bloggers and people that can’t fit in right now and maybe don’t have a permanency because they’re not part of the Washington elite media,” Spicer said, “but to allow them an opportunity to ask the press secretary or the president a question is a positive thing. It’s more democratic.”

Around 200 journalists make up the White House press corps. The Brady press briefing room holds 49 seats for major media organisations, which are granted space by the White House Correspondent Association [WHCA]. The Guardian is among those outlets allocated a space.

It remains unclear how the proposal would be implemented, but it is likely to be interpreted as a hostile rebuke to conventional media outlets around the country.

Jeff Mason, the WHCA president and Reuters White House correspondent, said in a statement he would meet with Spicer on Sundayto learn more.

“The WHCA will fight to keep the briefing room and West Wing access to senior administration officials open,” Mason said in a statement. “We object strenuously to any move that would shield the president and his advisers from the scrutiny of an on-site White House press corps.”

During a chaotic press conference at Trump Tower on Wednesday…(read more)

Source: The Guardian

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