CNN Senior White House Correspondent Jim Acosta accused the Trump administration of dodging critical questions by only selecting conservative reporters for questions, as opposed to giving the microphone to the mainstream media.
“The fix is in,” Acosta declared, responding to Wolf Blitzer, host of “The Situation Room.” “This White House, this president, does not want to answer questions — critical questions — about his associates, his aides’ contacts with the Russians during the course of the campaign.”
Acosta continued, saying, “They may think that this is being cute or they think this is strategic in terms of trying to shield the president from questions, but those questions can only be shielded for so long, Wolff.”
Acosta’s complaints came after President Donald Trump’s joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Various outlets reported that this was the third straight press conference where the customary two questions from the American media went to conservative outlets. In the press conference, Trump called on TownHall.com Editor Katie Pavlich and David Brody, White House correspondent for the Christian Broadcasting Network.
Similarly, in the Monday press conference Trump gave with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the president called on a local reporter from Sinclair-owned ABC 7 (Sinclair has been criticized for its local reporting, which has a conservative slant) and from the conservative news site The Daily Caller. During Trump’s press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last week, the president called on reporters from The New York Post and Fox Business Network, both owned by Rupert Murdoch, Politico reported.
“The White House press corps was a prop in that press conference,” AFP White House Correspondent Andrew Beatty tweeted. “The president is avoiding questions about it Russia [sic] like the plague.”
The White House press corps was a prop in that press conference. The president is avoiding questions about it Russia like the plague.
— Andrew Beatty (@AndrewBeatty) February 15, 2017
While Trump was criticized for only allowing conservative outlets to ask questions, Katie Pavlich herself signed onto National Review‘s infamous “Against Trump” issue last year. Pavlich attacked the weakness of Trump’s conservative credentials, and argued that the then-candidate “has made a living out of preying on and bullying society’s most vulnerable.”
In her defense, Pavlich took to Twitter, noting, “I asked about Flynn yesterday, wasn’t going to ask about Russia during an Israeli/US press conference.”
I asked about Flynn yesterday, wasn't going to ask about Russia during an Israeli/US press conference https://t.co/CxmqrCh4Sf
— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) February 15, 2017
Furthermore, Katherine Miller, political editor at BuzzFeed News, tweeted, “Am I missing something or have most of the questions from conservative outlets/broadcasters been fine or good?”
Am I missing something or have most of the questions from conservative outlets/broadcasters been fine or good?
— Katherine Miller (@katherinemiller) February 15, 2017
Perhaps it doesn’t matter to the mainstream media whether the questions were good or bad. To some it only matters that their grip on power has been loosened. After all, early into President Obama’s tenure in the White House, Fox News was criticized as not “a legitimate news organization.”
— Philip Klein (@philipaklein) February 15, 2017
Watch the video of the press conference, and Acosta’s response, below.
Here’s video of the press conference (Pavlich’s question starts around minute 17).
Here’s Jim Acosta.