It is no secret that the relationship between Donald Trump and CNN can best be described as “contentious.” He has singled them out on multiple occasions and in return, in many instances, they have increased their negative coverage of his administration to eleven.
I don’t know much about Kaitlan Collins, who as my colleague Streiff covered yesterday, was the only pool reporter banned from a press event at the White House.
Regardless of how you feel about CNN – my feelings are mixed, given a distaste for Jim Acosta but a respect for Jake Tapper, among others – however, there is one thing that many Trump supporters who cheered the White House on are overlooking: This is a dangerous game we’re playing.
Not so long ago, the Obama Administration singled out a Fox News reporter, James Rosen, with the Department of Justice sifting through his personal calls, trips to the State Department, and his emails. They were stalking him and accusing him of being a co-conspirator of Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, who had leaked classified material to Rosen.
Conservatives, rightly, were outraged. The same administration also investigated Associated Press reporters for no other reason than to see who knew what about the inner workings of the administration. Again, journalists and conservatives were outraged. This behavior was scary and infringed on the incredibly important idea of a free and open press.
There have, thankfully, been many conservatives who criticized the White House over the banning of Collins. They, too, realize what this means.
The idea that an administration can close off access to media outlets they don’t like is not a new one. But even Obama Administration officials went on Fox News, and Republicans are frequently seen on CNN and MSNBC, among others. The media, regardless of ideological bent, serves a vital role in getting information to the public. To so openly and disrespectfully shut off access to the media is a sign that the rules are changing for the worse.
Couple Trump’s actions with Obama and insert a far-left president of your choice. If a right-leaning journalist asks too many questions, they can be barred, investigated, and even be made to disappear from the airwaves for an unknown amount of time while the Justice Department “investigates” their activities.
You can’t be angry with Obama’s actions and be happy with Trump’s and be outraged by the slippery slope scenario. It’s all leading in the same direction.
I write for a conservative media outlet. You read it. Does your opposition to a Democratic president mean you and I don’t get the same rights to a free press as those who support that Democratic president? It does not, and it’s foolish to think that this won’t spin out of control.
Politics is precedent, and everything one person does is only because someone else made it possible for them to do it. The Trump Administration is playing with fire, and it is conservative journalists who will end up burned if we aren’t careful.