White House press briefings continued its transformation into a platform for journalists-turned-activists Monday afternoon when New York Magazine’s Olivia Nuzzi played a recording of detained children of immigrants while Department of Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was speaking.
Nuzzi proceeded to brag after the briefing on Twitter, saying that White House officials “failed to adequately and truthfully answer questions about the policy.” The Trump administration’s apparent inadequate response was Nuzzi’s excuse for playing the recording obtained by ProPublica.
“I would have waited until I was called on to play it, but I was not being called on. After another reporter’s phone began loudly ringing with a melodic jingle, I figured the briefing room could probably deal with a more important disturbance,” Nuzzi tweeted.
The outburst sparked condemnation from some attending the briefing, with one press corps member in the room telling The Daily Caller News Foundation that Nuzzi’s behavior was “ridiculous advocacy.”
“It was clearly audible and distracting, a phone call accidentally ringing is fine, but this is ridiculous advocacy,” the reporter said.
Various phones buzzing and ringing during press briefings are not uncommon and are generally overlooked, but Nuzzi’s behavior seemed to signal a clear departure of standard decorum.
“It was an obvious political move and stunt. Such behavior is out of the question. It was unruly and insane. It was honestly shocking, I’m sure there’s been worse but I can’t recall any,” the reporter added.
Other individuals in the room like The Washington Examiner’s Gabby Morrongiello shared a similar sentiment, tweeting out that Nuzzi’s behavior “was ridiculous.”
“Come to the briefing to ask questions, not to pull crap like this,” she said.
This was ridiculous btw. Come to the briefing to ask questions, not to pull crap like this. https://t.co/kv2RkEYvxL
— Gabby Morrongiello (@gabriellahope_) June 18, 2018
Tensions have risen during briefings in recent weeks, with other reporters shedding their objectivity in favor of outright political advocacy — often interrupting the White House in the process.
CNN contributor and Playboy White House correspondent Brian Karem screamed out over Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on June 14 and asked if she had “any empathy” because of the Trump administrator’s policy towards separating families at the Mexico-US border. (RELATED: Sarah Sanders Slams Whiny Reporter On Families Separated At Border)
“You’re a parent! Don’t you have any empathy? Come on, Sarah, you’re a parent!” Karem shouted. “Don’t you have any empathy for what these people are going through? They have less than you do. Sarah, come on, seriously. Seriously.”
A representative from the White House Correspondents Association did not return a request for comment.
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