The White House press briefing is dying, with Trump, Spicer, et al slowly reducing the number of meetings with the press, the length of those meetings, and exactly what sort of journalism is permissible within them. The latest limitation is that cameras and audio recording devices are now forbidden from many briefings, which has pissed off more than a few journalists, including CNN’s Jim Acosta. (Who is currently railing against the administration on Twitter.)
Under the new rules, the terms of each press briefing are sent out the night before, in a so-called “guidance agreement” email from the White House. This, in fact, is not an agreement at all—at least not in the sense that anybody from the press corps actually has a say in the matter. Additionally, these guidance agreements contain a “not for reporting” mandate, which has mostly been ignored.
Now, there are a few ways for journalists to respond to this mess. They can accept it, which is pretty lame. They can get angry, like Acosta did, which seems like the appropriate reaction when the White House tries to cut them—and therefore the American people—out of the loop. But there’s also a third way: They can ignore the larger first amendment implications and bitch about their fellow journalists ignoring the “not for reporting” clause in the guidance reports. This is clearly the path to take if you are a petty, obedient snitch.
Enter CNN’s Dylan Byers:
There's a lot to say about Byers, and a lot to say about this tweet, and lucky for us, the Internet—a category that includes many of his colleagues—said it. We now turn you over to the righteous backlash:
The abuse goes on from there, including insults like: Boot-licker, toady, nerd, narc, and coward. Not defending the Internet here, but, uh…he kinda deserves it.