It has been claimed, by one outlet of the Main Stream Media, that the rights of the press, herein protected under the First and Fifth Amendments, has been infringed. If ALL press had NO opportunity to be informed by the White House; that situation would indeed, be infringement. The logic that a singular reporter can present as a sycophant, acting-out like a tired toddler at a toy store in this most venerable method that the White House presents, yet continue to have the PRIVILEGE of holding 1 of 49 seats at the White House Press Conference would entitle anyone who writes and has a venue to report, to acquire and bear a White House Permanent Press Pass to attend at White House Press Conferences.
News reporting today has many venues with much more far-reaching capability; world-wide reach and immediacy, than was capable when the Framers wrote 1A. The INTENTION of 1A was to assure the press had a method to facts and valid information and to report that information to the People. It insures that the PRESS retains access to accurate and timely information. It was NOT set up to condone the total lack of decorum on the part of individual reporters.
A White House Permanent Press Pass is, and must remain, a PRIVILEGE which must not become a method for personal venue when in attendance at the White House Press Conference. A holder of such a Press Pass is a GUEST who is part of the select group of reporters CLEARED to be in the WH Press Corps and as such, it is a privilege granted to the individual who, in turn, bears the responsibility of decorum and respect to the Presidency, the speaker reporting, and to all other privileged reporters in attendance during the WH press conference.
Protocols that make the WH press conference different from a mob in pursuit of their own agenda must be maintained to keep the privilege as well as the ability of the White House to report and the ability for all members of the press in attendance to also report. A Press Conference is not a place to grandstand or make public statements focused upon what an individual reporter wants to put forward; their opinion to be adhered to by the President or to inject as the focus of the Presidential reporting of the moment – less he waste the time of his fellows, of the President and all other attendees, only to be told that the White House must address separately, if at all, on that reporter’s personal focus. Neither does the holder of such a pass have the right to be called upon – but instead of making proper use of the opportunity and time to ask pertinent questions to then proceed to orate or inject personal opinion at a White House Press Conference. Doing so takes the time available away from all other reporters who have pertinent questions to ask but may not get the opportunity due to such orations.
Proper Protocol calls for the reporter to relinquish the floor when so directed, and not pose rebuttals better suited to a personal interview than a Presidential Press Conference, for the sake of permitting other members of the Press to have the opportunity to voice their questions. A Permanent Press Pass does not allow for individual reporters to be guaranteed a right to ask a question nor to orate. It is the onus of the individual reporter to be aware and bear the responsibility to the other reporters in the room by individual adherence to protocol and decorum.
The granting of the Press Pass is a privilege and must remain a privilege for each individual to whom it is granted. If Protocol and Decorum are not adhered to, the nation loses all value in the process. Without these, all individuals who are able and so choose, can report and, as well, would be entitled to a Press Pass. If a reporter bearing this coveted permanent press pass is incapable of the restraint and adherence to simple, non-infringing protocols, for the benefit of all, they have no place being in the White House press corps.
The demeanor of the press corps has become an outlet for anger born of opinion, rather than the gathering, ascertaining and reporting of facts. It is a statement of sad fact that many in the press regard the reporting of opinion to hold as much weight as the reporting of fact. The White House Press Conference is no venue to muddle fact with opinion, and doing so, in fact, defies the entire purpose of the First Amendment protecting access of facts to the press at large.
Most reporters at a WH Press Conference report the facts. Many do not report by the Journalist’s Credo to report the facts, all the facts and only the facts. This is all that’s needed for a free and educated People to make their own opinions based upon unvarnished facts – all of the facts available. The White House Press Conference is in direct alignment with the purpose and the spirit of our First Amendment. Quite simply, it is a venue made available for the press to gather and present factual information to the People for their edification and their reactions to FACTS, free from the personal sway of the reporter’s opinion.
The people deserve, and the First Amendment guarantees that they receive – through the press – facts – all the facts as unaltered by the coloring of the reporter’s opinion. The White House Press Conference is not a venue of Opinion Editorial by the reporting press.
Just the facts, Ma’am…
Op Eds are a venue of their own, properly held separately, even if derived from the facts. Instead, what we see in our Main Stream Media (MSM), is that we are being presented with their “truth”. Any first year journalist knows that TRUTH is SUBJECTIVE, and FACTS are not subjective. For this very reason, the Journalist’s Credo does not purport to provide the truth, as the reader/viewer, with the facts, will find the truth. The People will find the truth as subjected to their own experience and opinion – and should be free to do so, knowing that they are in receipt of all the facts in which to base that opinion.
Subjective reporting which allows the reporter’s truth to become the focus of the report and is presented as though it were factual and inclusive of all the facts, has created a divide which has been used to direct, in an attempt to control the opinions of masses of the People. It is the People who believe this reporting to not only be purely FACTUAL, but to include ALL KNOWN FACTS that were available to report on. Therein lies the problem.
We all must make the personal leap to see what’s happening. Few are happy with the divide in this nation, and few know that the presentation of what the Media presents, and openly admits to as truth, is the largest contributor to our divide. We will always have our own opinions, and are free to seek our own truth; but to do so and be secure in the knowledge that we are basing our opinions -our truths- upon all the facts available is not forthcoming through our MSM. Though facts are available by some who are respected in the media, personal diligence must be the scale by which we weigh what MSM feeds us as truth. Here, we have come into an era when the power to control the flow of facts to the People becomes self-governed, and yet, instead, that time is not currently in the here and now as long as our MSM keeps leading with the narrative to replace their preferred truths and so obscure the hard facts.
Our trusted source, our respected news media, has defied their own true purpose and instead replaced the facts with convenient truths to an end which they prefer. The fact is that a MSM business is suing the White House over 1A and 5A rights because of a reporter whose objective was not to report on what was being addressed by the Presidency, but instead to inject his personal opinion on other matters of his own focus in an attempt to hold the current POTUS to his standard and solutions to that opinion. We cannot allow the POWER of the PRESS to become the group that the Presidency is answerable TO. The press as well as the POTUS, must answer to the PEOPLE.
The responsibility is now on us to make an effort to put aside some of the emotionally power-packed opinions – many of which are based on facts but are irreconcilable due to our own personal truths – to take that first solid step into ending the divides between us. We cannot afford to allow it to continue, as this is what the power of control over the People surely is. Our nation was never set up to control us as currently is in evidence now. Many, convinced entirely by truth over facts, will never be able to fully reconcile; nor should they give up their truths except to agree to disagree. To address the purpose of this article, there is more to prove the title of this article than to argue against it in these matters listed herein: Absolute power corrupts, absolutely.
Here, in this article, I have given opinions based on facts, and clearly state it. It is my hope that those who read it will consider seriously and find their own path to the FACTS on which they can base a secured Truth to be founded solidly on those facts, and so, too, that we approach a time when we can take the first steps to mend the torn fabric of our political powers in our Congress. Our elected officials have become a weapon against those who disagree – hence, adding to the divide. We must be wary, ever vigilant; to keep and maintain our freedoms and demand our representatives serve the People above their party or personal gain. The evidence points in the wrong direction when it comes to many of our elected and appointed officials. It is my personal truth that this problem arises from many of those who were elected to serve the People, but have instead become more self-gratified and more powerful by serving themselves.
-Lin Cava, CC