Fox, the Wall Street Journal and friends, now face a critical pass-fail test. As the Times put it:
Reporters from The Times, BuzzFeed News, CNN, The Los Angeles Times, Politico, the BBC and The Huffington Post were among those shut out of the briefing. Aides to Mr. Spicer admitted only reporters from a group of news organizations that, the White House said, had been previously confirmed.
Those organizations included Breitbart News, the One America News Network and The Washington Times, all with conservative leanings. Journalists from ABC, CBS, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and Fox News also attended.
Reporters from The Associated Press and Time magazine, who were set to be allowed in, chose not to attend the briefing in protest of the White House’s actions. The Washington Post did not send a reporter to the session.
Is the response of the right wing press, to paraphrase Martin Miemoeller:
First they came for the mainstream press, and we did not speak out, because we are not mainstream press. . . .
And here the immediate needed action, shown by AP and Time, is simple. If you want to talk to us, you have to talk to everyone.
If those who attended the gaggle, fail this test again, they will have shown that political loyalty and short term economic interest trump freedom of the press. So, they have lost all intellectual credibility, and so have any who continue to work for them.
This is a pivotal moment of choice. History will hold them accountable, whatever else happens.