Renowned conservative commentator and radio show host Rush Limbaugh believes he knows why President Donald Trump has effectively eliminated the White House press briefings.
Speaking Friday on his radio show, he theorized that the decision was made to stop the media’s many “egomaniacs” from hogging the microphone and drawing attention to themselves.
“You know, there’s no White House press briefing anymore,” he said. “They don’t do ’em. They don’t get together in the pressroom at 1 o’clock every day with the media asking questions.”
True. There hasn’t been an official White House press briefing since March 11. Not once since then has now-resigned press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders or her replacement, Stephanie Grisham, held a single press briefing, much to the continued chagrin of the left-wing media:
The White House hasn’t used the press briefing room to, ya know, brief the press, for 90 days… pic.twitter.com/XPZdveQc3I
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) June 9, 2019
Sarah Sanders’ primary legacy as W.H. press secretary is the death of the daily press briefing. https://t.co/4L0THwhDI9
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) June 13, 2019
“Guess what we don’t see now? We never see the media on TV. We never see them. Trump has totally taken away their star turns,” Limbaugh continued.
Instead, the president spontaneously meets with the press outside the White House now and again. That – in fact – is exactly what happened Friday.
“He comes out of the White House on the way to the helicopter, he takes questions on the way, but the camera is always on him,” Limbaugh noted, describing the impromptu presser.
“We never see the Drive-Bys. All we do is hear them. And I’m telling you, they sound like a bunch of spoiled-rotten, impolite kids, all of them shouting their inane questions at the same time. But you never see their faces. Trump has taken away their face time in context of White House press briefings.”
Watch Friday’s impromptu briefing below:
“[T]his is not happenstance,” Limbaugh continued. “It’s not accidental. This has been done purposely, you know, they had these people like Jim Acosta and April Ryan and the rest of these egomaniacs showing off in the pressroom simply trying to make names for themselves.”
“Who could ask the rudest question? Who could express the greatest amount of disgust for Sarah Sanders and Trump? So they simply took it away from ’em, and this is what the press gets now. And they are not on TV. And, believe me, particularly for the television Drive-Bys, being on TV is everything. Face time is everything, and the Trumpster is artfully denying them that which they love.”
While the White House press briefings have always been controversial — there were problems even during the Obama administration — they grew far more problematic under Trump primarily because of the media and their endless attention-grabbing stunts, some of which are highlighted below:
April Ryan Rudely Interrupts Presser
April Ryan, the White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks and a political analyst for CNN, made a scene at a presser last summer after then-secretary Sanders chose to call on somebody else besides her.
“John … John, go ahead,” Sanders said after answering a question.
“Is voter suppression included with that, please?” Ryan then began hollering. “I’m just asking you a question because you choose not to call on me. Is voter suppression part of that election process that the president is trying to look for?”
“John, go ahead,” Sanders said, ignoring her.
“Oh, you’re not going to answer that,” Ryan huffed. ”That’s alright, fine.”
“If I call on you, I’ll be happy to answer your question,” Sanders replied.
Then after being called out, Ryan went onto Twitter to complain about it.
Legit question either she won’t or can’t answer!!!
— AprilDRyan (@AprilDRyan) July 18, 2018
Jim Acosta Inappropriately Touches A White House Intern
During a heated briefing last November, CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta refused to relinquish the microphone after the president grew tired of his questions and requested that he hand the microphone to someone else.
“That’s enough!” the president fumed as he motioned for an intern to retrieve the mic from Acosta.
But as she tried to do just that, Acosta tightened his grip, pulled the microphone closer to him and then performed what’s been described as a “karate chop” on the intern’s arm.
He clearly put his hand on the intern. While it appeared to be a gentle “karate-chop,” it was still inappropriate. Yet he refused to apologize, and then when the White House yanked his press pass, he ran to the courts to cry foul.
“This severe and unprecedented punishment is the culmination of years of hostility by President Trump against CNN and Acosta based on the contents of their reporting — an unabashed attempt to censor the press and exclude reporters from the White House who challenge and dispute the President’s point of view,” a suit filed by him and CNN alleged.
Sanders responded at the time by blasting him for his “grandstanding.”
“This is just more grandstanding from CNN, and we will vigorously defend against this lawsuit,” she said. “CNN, who has nearly 50 additional hard pass holders, and Mr. Acosta is no more or less special than any other media outlet or reporter with respect to the First Amendment.”
“After Mr. Acosta asked the President two questions—each of which the President answered—he physically refused to surrender a White House microphone to an intern, so that other reporters might ask their questions. This was not the first time this reporter has inappropriately refused to yield to other reporters.”
Though the White House ultimately lost the suit and was forced to reissue Acosta a press pass, it seems clear now that Trump wound up having the last laugh — because ever since he effectively cancelled the White House press briefings, guess who hasn’t been heard from much anymore.
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