February 16, 2017


The Journalism Empire Strikes Back : Blockbuster reports from the Washington Post and New York Times are rocking the Trump White House. But will this administration ever come to acknowledge the power of the press? (Lloyd Grove, 02.15.17, Daily Beast)

"Donald Trump can't change the way gravity works--and the news media in our civil society, and accountability journalism, muscled up and demonstrated that he can't change gravity," said Steve Clemons, Washington editor at large for The Atlantic magazine. "High-quality journalism matters enormously, and it mattered to him, even though he tried to ignore it."

Clemons added: "I wouldn't say that journalism is now 'boss' in this new world. But I would say that in this multi-match Sumo contest between journalists and the White House, in which the White House thought it was going to redefine the power dynamic, journalism has knocked Trump out of the ring. But it's only the beginning of the contest, and it's not the definitive case that journalism is prevailing."

Yet there has been a decided sea change in recent days. White House press secretary Sean Spicer--who trotted out the "fake news" attack at an infamous Jan. 11 news conference and officially launched his tenure, the day after the inauguration, with a mouth-foaming tirade about crowd sizes--pointedly acknowledged the primacy the old, pre-Trump protocols during Tuesday's afternoon face-off in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room.
In contrast to his previous briefings, Spicer called on the major wire services, newspapers, and broadcast and cable-television organizations in the front rows and fielded tough, probing questions before recognizing often-sympathetic back-benchers such as Newsmax or right-wing radio host Laura Ingraham's Lifezette website. [...]

Lucy Dalglish, dean of the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism, said the Fourth Estate, the beneficiary of leaks in recent days from inside the federal bureaucracy and even apparently the White House itself, is stepping up to its informal role as a fourth branch of government.

"What we're witnessing is a version of checks and balances in a crazy way," Dalglish told The Daily Beast. 

Posted by at February 16, 2017 7:44 AM