A longtime Washington reporter and White House correspondent has accused the current administration of being “the most hostile” to journalists in the history of the United States.
Former CNN correspondent Bob Franken was sitting down over the weekend with reporters at MSNBC when he was asked to weigh in on the current standoff between the White House and some of the biggest names in news when he made headline-grabbing remarks about this administration’s treatment of the press.
Allegations have been made lately by the likes of the Associated Press, Reuters and others that the White House has been excluding independent photographers from official functions with increasing regularity as of late, instead relying on a lone administration staffer to shoot images of US President Barack Obama for selected distribution among the press. In a recent letter sent by editors at the AP, Reuters, CNN, ABC, NBC and others, the organizations wrote “officials in this administration are blocking the public from having an independent view of important functions of the Executive Branch of government,” and McClatchy newspapers and USA Today both went as far as to vow to boycott official images provided by the White House in protest.
On Saturday, however, perhaps the harshest critique yet of this administration’s policy with regards to the press surfaced, courtesy of Franken, a longtime White House reporter who has covered the Washington beat since the 1980s.
“Well, let’s use the ‘P’ word here,” Franken told MNBC Live host TJ Holmes. “This is propaganda when it comes from the White House: government covering the government. “