Why punishing the media will backfire on Trump

(CNN)The shocking decision by press secretary Sean Spicer to bar CNN, The New York Times, Buzzfeed, Politico and the Los Angeles Times from a news briefing Friday signals that, for all its bluster and bravado, the Trump White House is an administration under siege.

In the face of the President’s many public misstatements, obvious financial conflicts of interest and troubling ties to Russia, the White House has decided to launch an all-out attack on the news organizations that reliably report on the administration’s fables and foibles.
Expect to see the media close ranks and fight for the public’s right to observe and report on government without fear of official retaliation. To their credit, the Associated Press and Time walked out of Spicer’s briefing when it became clear he was trying to punish selected news outlets.

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    Trump falsely claimed that intelligence agencies had no idea who tampered with the November election, at a time when American intelligence already knew that Russia was the culprit.
    The White House staff, too cowed to break their boss of the habit of making things up, is stuck cleaning up the President’s misstatements, plugging leaks, and picking pointless, unwinnable fights with media organizations.
    It’s a thankless, hopeless job and will provide journalists — and the late-night comedy writers, our wisecracking professional cousins — with endless opportunities to tell a modern version of an ancient tale.
    We’re chronicling, once again, a strange story about the emperor’s new clothes, and a royal court of flatterers too far gone to recognize that, sooner or later, people will see the truth.

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