— J Wilson-Hartgrove (@wilsonhartgrove) March 18, 2017
Apart from #Resisting, what’s on the agenda as we start another week (and season)?
A new Washington Post feature, from Media Columnist Margaret Sullivan — “Tracking the special treatment media get when they play nice with the White House“:
… True, it is not the proper job of journalists to provide favorable coverage but rather to hold powerful figures accountable.
But that doesn’t get you far these days, at least in terms of access.
So we’ll be taking note of what does.
Consider Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s recent trip to North Asia — his first such foray. Tillerson broke with long-standing tradition by not including State Department reporters on this foreign trip. The norm is to have a solid group of reporters who provide “pool reports” to others not on the trip, so that American citizens might have a sense of what their government is doing abroad.
Tillerson had only one press representative with him: Erin McPike of the Independent Journal Review, a conservative website founded by Alex Skatell, a former Republican operative.
McPike has little experience covering foreign affairs and has been with IJR only a few weeks, but she had written a piece about why Tillerson might be avoiding the press and how well he and the president were working together behind the scenes to get things done…
The decision was a way to give access to a “broader representation of U.S. media,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters last week, adding, “This is just an attempt to reach beyond the usual suspects, and I’m not trying to say that in a demeaning way at all.”
Tillerson’s own words showed how little respect he has for journalists’ role in keeping citizens informed. He made it all about himself, telling McPike: “I’m not a big media press access person. I personally don’t need it.”…
If they’re not courtiers, what good are they? And I personally don’t need courtiers, so…