To the ire of many, the White House announced on Monday that the day's press briefing would be held off-camera and without audio.
This is an issue because while White House correspondents were able to report on the goings-on of the Executive branch, having an off-camera, no-audio press briefing denies the public the ability to hear the words directly from the horse's mouth.
CNN's Senior White House Correspondent Jim Acosta addressed this problem after the press briefing. Acosta said:
“I wish we had some video or some audio from this briefing to share with you, but the White House mandated that we are not allowed to cover the White House Press Secretary for the United States of America in that fashion.”
Acosta noted that the White House is refusing to answer questions such as if the president has recorded tapes of Oval Office conversations or if President Donald Trump believes in global climate change.
Acosta speculated that the reason the White House has turned off the cameras is that “they want their evasive answers not saved for posterity.”
Acosta to CNN's Brooke Baldwin:
“I guess people can say 'there goes the media again. They're acting like cry babies because they can't cover things the way that they want,' but, ya know, maybe I am old fashioned, Brooke but I think that the White House for the United States of America should have these questions answered on camera so we can see what they are saying.”
“When they don't do this they are just doing a disservice to the people of this country, and I don't want to sound like I am getting on my soapbox here, but when Sean Spicer, the White House Press Secretary who is pretty highly paid for a government official in this country, comes in and just says you can't record the video or audio from these briefings, that wouldn't be tolerated at city council meetings or at a governor's press conference.”
Acosta said that for him it does not even feel like journalists are covering the White House anymore, rather it feels like they are covering “bad reality television.”
The CNN White House lead went on to express his frustrations with Spicer's ability to get answers for reporters who posed questions to him about the president's actions days and weeks prior.
Acosta said, “The White House Press Secretary is getting to a point where he is kind of useless.”
He continued, “You know, if he can't come out and answer the questions and they're just not going to do this on-camera or on audio, why are we even having these briefings or these gaggles in the first place?”
During the press conference, Acosta also stated his concerns on Twitter.
At this time, it is unclear if the White House will continue to hold press briefings similar to today's fashion.