Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's utter disdain for journalists and journalism is legendary. We see that again in a May 10 MRC post by Tim Graham mocking the Washington Post's Dana Milbank for being among the dozens of journalists whose permanent White House press passes were effectively revoked in favor of a system that requires renewals every six months. Graham began with the sneering headline "Democracy DIES in Darkness! WashPost's Dana Milbank Offered Lesser Press Pass!" and descended from there:
It might surprise you that Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank has a White House press pass. Six other Post correspondents have them. But since his was revoked.....DEMOCRACY DIES IN DARKNESS. He wrote about it in a column appropriately titled "The White House revoked my press pass. It’s not just me — it’s curtailing access for all journalists."
Milbank announces up front that he's a had a "hard pass" for 21 years. I can tell you this from my two years in the White House press corps. Milbank's almost never there for the briefing. That's why no one can remember him lobbing smirky self-satisfied questions at Sarah Sanders. But of course, he says "I strongly suspect it’s because I’m a Trump critic."
Insert laugh track. As if everyone else there (including the six Post reporters who still have passes) are wearing MAGA hats.
Of course, a White House press corps full of MAGA hat-wearing scribes engaged in dutiful stenography of Dear Leader -- you know, kinda like the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com -- is exactly what Graham would like to see.
Being a loyal Trumpist, Graham proclaimed that the White House restrictions for a permanent press pass -- being at the White House 90 of the previous 180 days, which most reporters can't fulfill even without factoring in that the Trump White House has effectively discontinued standard press briefings, giving reporters even less of a reason to be there -- to be "not an unreasonable place to start."
Graham is also giving too much credit to his "two years in the White House press corps" to ground his experience. First of all, that was nearly 20 years ago, when Graham briefly left the MRC to work for the religious publication World. Second, he didn't say if his time then met the new, restrictive standard.
Needless to say, if the Obama White House had done this, Graham would be screaming bloody murder about how Obama was restricting press access. But because it's the Trump White House, it's "not unreasonable."