That’s a question perhaps better suited for the likes of CNN’s “ace reporter” Jim Acosta who notably wrestled the microphone away from a young female White House staffer — refusing to relinquish his time while attempting to debate President Trump.
That disgusting display played and replayed on national TV is without a doubt the reason why the White House finally cut off the press briefing spigot, and why the press no longer enjoys the spotlight.
Most already knew the handwriting was on the wall the moment Acosta was reinstated back into the press room, that there would be fewer press briefings.
On Tuesday, the President tweeted out an explanation that actually needed no explanation.
“The reason Sarah Sanders does not go to the “podium” much anymore is that the press covers her so rudely & inaccurately, in particular, certain members of the press. I told her not to bother; the word gets out anyway! Most will never cover us fairly & hence, the term, Fake News!”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 22, 2019
The President’s tweet apparently caught the eye of Olivier Knox, the President of the White House Correspondents Association, who immediately condemned the President’s move as bad precedent.
“This retreat from transparency and accountability sets a terrible precedent. Being able to question the press secretary or other senior government officials publicly helps the news media tell Americans what their most powerful representatives are doing in their name. While other avenues exist to obtain information, the robust, public back-and-forth we’ve come to expect in the James A. Brady briefing room helps to highlight that no one in a healthy republic is above being questioned.”
According to The Hill, Sanders hasn’t held a press briefing from the White House in more than 30 days, to be exact it was on December 18th, which makes this the longest stretch the White House has gone without a formal press briefing from the Press Secretary. However less formal press briefings have occurred, most recently Chief Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow addressed reporters about the government shutdown on Tuesday afternoon concerning federal workers not getting paid.
“No one likes the hardship that people are having to shoulder, including myself. I have young people on my staff who are concerned [about not getting paid], so I get that. I don’t want to dance away from that. But I will also say, we are predominantly not a government-run economy. We’re a free market economy. So when the government reopens – and I’m not here to negotiate, I’m not going to make a prediction, that’s up to the President — you will see an immediate snapback.”
Adding, “The President made a very strong statement Saturday and we’re waiting for Democrats to come to the table and shoulder their share of the negotiation.”
Deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley has been indirectly interacting with the press recently, instead of Sanders.
“It’s not that they’ve ever stopped, it’s just that sometimes we need to come to the podium to communicate things and sometimes we don’t. A lot of the times when we don’t come to the podium it’s because the President has addressed the American people himself.”
Gidley’s spin in attempting to placate the press stands in stark contrast to the President’s unambiguous tweet, explaining that he doesn’t see a reason for Sanders to “bother” with a press that treats her “rudely.”