Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway likes to say that the Trump administration and the media share “joint custody” of the country, as if the president and the press are a divorced couple. That might be an apt comparison (Jon Stewart also has likened Trump and the media to ex-lovers), but the White House seems totally uninterested in an amicable split.
Witness White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s reprimand of American Urban Radio correspondent April Ryan on Tuesday (“please stop shaking your head”), which offended many reporters, and his characterization over the weekend of Politico’s Tara Palmeri as “an idiot with no real sources,” which offended even Breitbart News.
Breitbart Washington editor Matt Boyle, with whom Spicer shared his low opinion of the Politico White House reporter, defended Palmeri’s credibility by citing her recent scoops.
Also, after Trump said in February that he would skip the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, the White House said Tuesday that no staffers will attend. The event, scheduled for April 29 this year, has traditionally been an occasion to ease (for one night, at least) whatever tensions exist between the president and the media.
Sitting presidents have attended every year since 1981, and Ronald Reagan had a pretty good excuse for that year’s absence. He was recovering from a gunshot wound — and he still managed to deliver remarks to the press corps by phone.
The Trump White House simply does not care about having a good relationship with the media. Spicer’s characterization of Palmeri as…