Why Trump Needs To Stop Ditching The Press Pool

At least that’s what Juan Williams thinks in his Fox News piece last Thursday.  He’s far from the only pressman who thinks so, too.

It seems that President-elect Donald Trump was rude enough to want to have dinner out with a few folks without the madding crowd of papparazi and other reporters hanging over their shoulders.  So he and his group evaded the press pool that was following him around.


I heard those scary words from a Secret Service agent on October 23, 1983. I was covering President Reagan for The Washington Post and happened to be near the tiny group of journalists—the so-called “presidential press pool,” as he attended the Master’s golf tournament.

Then, as the president was leaving the Augusta National Golf Club the news broke that 241 American servicemen had been killed when terrorists bombed the US Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon.

Those were chaotic moments.

Those were the chaotic paragraphs with which Williams opened his screed over Trump’s presuming to decline to not cater to the self-important press.  This sort of thing is an outlier, too, and unlikely to be missed just because a President wants a (relatively) quiet dinner on the town.

Similarly, Trump did not take a press pool with him when he went to the White House last week for his first sit-down with President Obama. He did not have reporters on the plane he used during the campaign.

How rude!  He didn’t bring a gaggle with him to a business meeting.  Cluck, cluck.

These pressmen choose not to consider factors involved in Trump’s decision to ditch the press so he and his family could enjoy a steak dinner, to take one of these plaints.  Personal, individual decisions (which don’t matter to the NLMSM, since they don’t see Americans as individuals, they only see us as either cookie cutter, interchangeable, correct consumers of their stuff or as cookie cutter, interchangeable racists and homophobes who disagree with them), like other folks wanting to go to a restaurant to enjoy a steak dinner.

Now, when a President wants to go anywhere—a steakhouse, let’s say—he unavoidably must be accompanied by his Secret Service protection detail.  These additional six men and women (to pick a number for discussion’s sake) are going to take up space in that restaurant, but that’s unavoidable, and these men and women know how to be discrete and unobtrusive—that’s part of their protection job.

But the press?  They’re crowding around asking questions—loudly, so as to be heard above their fellows—pushing microphones and cameras aggressively, so as to get the audio and the video.  It’s their job to be heard and to be as disruptive as necessary in order to get their question(s) to be the one the President answers.  They’ll even try to get “reaction” shots and questions asked of the other patrons in that restaurant.  And that’s enormously disruptive, to the restaurant, to those other diners trying to enjoy their steak dinners, even to the passersby on the sidewalk outside.

Do the pressmen care?  Not a bit.  These self-important ones care only about their stories and their bylines.

Don’t ditch the press all the time, Mr President.  But unhesitatingly ditch them on occasion when you want to be out and about and don’t want to interfere with the doings of others who also want to be out and about and happen to be near you at the time.

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