Roger Simon at PJ Media: Upend the ‘Faux System’ of White House Journalism
Excuse my ignorance, but I had no idea — until reading about the recent kerfuffle cum journalist Twitter brawl–that by tradition the Associated Press always gets to ask the first question at White House press briefings. (It was given on Monday to the New York Post, creating consternation.)
Which leads me to ask: Who anointed the AP and made them king?
In fact, why would anybody ever, by tradition or for any other reason, always get to ask the first or even the fifth question at a White House press briefing or conference?
Or, to drill down a little further, why does any media outlet get preference over any other when it comes to asking questions? Or still further, who determines what reporters and organizations get into the briefing room in the first place to sit forever in rows one or two?
Oh, I see. Is that a degree from Columbia Journalism School? Hemingway didn’t even go to college and could outwrite everyone in that briefing room by an exponential factor. Journalism isn’t brain surgery or even anesthesiology. It’s an occupation for ambitious hustlers with a gift for gab not so different from screenwriting, but not so high paying.
The truth is that those organizations are indeed there by tradition, a tradition of droit du seigneur and corporate thuggery that makes you yearn for the extension of anti-trust legislation.
You get the position, you keep the position. It’s a game of rich, entrenched bullies that happen to be monolithic media companies anxious to preserve their monopolies. We all know their names and logos, which have been drilled into us as the purveyors of all information from early childhood. As it was so succinctly put by A. J. Liebling back in 1960: “Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to the man who owns one.”
Read Roger Simon’s entire article at PJ Media: Upend the ‘Faux System’ of White House Journalism
Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and co-founder of PJ Media. His latest book is I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already.