“Make no mistake about what we are all witnessing.”
On Sunday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer continued the Trump administration’s fight against transparency by holding a meeting with reporters who were forced to refrain from recording any of what was said. Naturally, that makes it difficult for reporters to perform the “reporting” part of their job, but even at this early stage during Trump’s tenure, the press corps has grown accustomed to the barrage of curveballs and curiosities.
The ban on recording devices aside, reporters found the 30-minute session to be fruitless, with Spicer evading almost every question, claiming he hadn’t spoken to the president on many issues the reporters wanted to address.
So with the stakes sufficiently low, the press in the room started to have some fun with the weird circumstances of the meeting.
CNN’s Jim Acosta went rogue, tweeting this pic from the room, apparently against orders:
WH briefing about to start. We're told we cannot use video or audio from this "gaggle." So I took this pic before g… https://t.co/TVWYepNqAM— Jim Acosta (@Jim Acosta)1497893716.0
Then, possibly loopy from frustration, his next tweet got a little more high-concept and abstract:
The Spicer off-camera/no audio gaggle has begun. I can't show you a pic of Sean. So here is a look at some new sock… https://t.co/dI68L7hge4— Jim Acosta (@Jim Acosta)1497894653.0
Frankly, I think many Americans would prefer to look at reporters’ socks than watch Spicer hem and haw through the press’ questions.
Later, Acosta offered a more serious account of what he was experiencing:
Make no mistake about what we are all witnessing. This is a WH that is stonewalling the news media. Hiding behind no camera/no audio gaggles— Jim Acosta (@Jim Acosta)1497896224.0
There is a suppression of information going on at this WH that would not be tolerated at a city council mtg or press conf with a state gov.— Jim Acosta (@Jim Acosta)1497896356.0
Like so many, Acosta’s trying to make the best of a bad situation. But sooner or later, the novelty and absurdity will wear off, and we’re left with the reality of a very troubling trend in how the White House treats the press.