In the last days of 2016, Donald Trump is still actively challenging the status quo. He’s promising Israel that he’ll undo the damage done by the Obama Administration. He’s working behind the scenes with his Russian connections to mitigate the sanctimonious actions of the President, and now he’s thumbing his nose at the press.
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“Business as usual is over” for the press, Donald Trump’s incoming press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters Thursday.
There are established rituals for house the White House press interact with the President and his team. From the reporters and outlets that are invited to attend, to the order in which reporters are called on for questions–every nuance is built on tradition and maintains a carefully crafted pecking order.
It appears Trump won’t be beholden to tradition–a move that surprises no one.
Spicer indicated that Trump plans to skip the interpretive lens of the American media and take his message directly to the people. The expectation is that reporters might find breaking news as everyone else following Trump on Twitter might.
“When he talks about Americans first, he means, ‘I don’t care what a bunch of elites tell me or people at a dinner party.’ He wants to know what American workers care about, what American families care about, what’s going to help American businesses grow,” Spicer reportedly said. “And so, yes, if we have to maintain some traditions, we’ll maintain them.”
Spicer isn’t dismissing the role of traditional media completely. “Look, I get it, we’re not going to win a battle whether The New York Times is going to ever give us a fair shake or not. But we recognize that there’s, you know, a few thousand readers or so left that still look at The New York Times, and so it’s worth, probably, talking to them,” he told radio host Hugh Hewitt.
We won’t know how Trump deals with media until his first official press conference. It had been scheduled for December, but was rescheduled for January, 2017. At that point, Spicer warns, “business as usual is over.”