“You are a taxpayer-funded spokesman of the United States government; can you at least give us an explanation as to why the cameras are off?”
That was the question from CNN White House reporter Jim Acosta on Monday, at yet another off-camera press briefing held by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
Spicer, unsurprisingly, didn’t really have an answer.
The Trump White House has taken to rarely holding on-camera press briefings, a move that many (including Acosta) see as an attack on press freedom.
As the pair sparred on Monday, as they have before, Spicer implied that Acosta was only asking the question to build his celebrity. “There’s no cameras on, Jim,” Spicer said, as if Acosta didn’t know.
Spicer didn’t answer why the administration doesn’t want reporters to turn the cameras on, and now several journalists are asking why those behind the cameras don’t simply ignore the White House’s wishes.
What, exactly, happens if someone (or if they all) turn their cameras toward Spicer and begin recording?
If tv reporters at the WH care so damn much, could they please just hit the button next to the red light that says “ON”
— Asawin Suebsaeng (@swin24) June 26, 2017
just turn the cameras on, guys
— Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery) June 26, 2017
Seriously, turn on the fucking cameras, you fucking cowards, this is the darkness democracy dies in.
— Eliot Higgins (@EliotHiggins) June 26, 2017
So far, the White House has held just four on-camera press briefings this month.