Media pundits expressed their disapproval after a One America News Network reporter appeared at Thursday’s White House press briefing despite being kicked out of the rotation for violating social distancing guidelines.
The White House Correspondents Association (WHCA) has limited the number of people allowed to attend Trump’s briefings because of the novel coronavirus. Reporters are on a rotating list, which allows for the briefings to adhere to social distancing rules.
OANN’s Chanel Rion violated the WHCA’s rotating list twice by attending briefings even though she wasn’t on the list for those days. The WHCA kicked her out of the rotation Wednesday, citing a “matter of public safety.” But, Rion came back again on Thursday, saying she was invited by the White House.
“I see that reporter from OANN saw fit once against to defy WHCA guidelines on social distancing in the WH briefing,” the Washington Blade’s White House reporter Chris Johnson tweeted.
…the WHCA took @OANN out of the pool and their reporter is still there violating their safety policies.
— Shira Stein (@shiramstein) April 2, 2020
— Debra J. Saunders (@debrajsaunders) April 2, 2020
Reporters became even angrier after President Donald Trump called on Rion for a question, despite her having been kicked out by the WHCA. (RELATED: Behaving ‘Like The Political Opposition’: White House Reporter Jonathan Karl Blasts CNN’s Jim Acosta In New Book)
“Trump makes sure to take a question from OAN staffer Chanel Rion even though she was banished from the White House Correspondents’ Association for attending briefings she wasn’t supposed to be at,” Vox reporter Aaron Rupar tweeted.
Trump makes sure to take a question from OAN staffer Chanel Rion even though she was banished from the White House Correspondents’ Association for attending briefings she wasn’t supposed to be at pic.twitter.com/Gn35DBj0Jh
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 2, 2020
“And a question from OANN reporter standing in the back of the room in violation of WHCA guidelines (the cable TV channel lost its position in the rotational pool by repeatedly violating this),” VOA News’s Stever Herman noted.
OAN wants to know… from Jared Kushner… if people around the country… need hand sanitizer.
What. A. Fucking. Joke. Of. A. News. Outlet.
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) April 2, 2020
CNN’s Oliver Darcy tweeted that neither White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham nor Deputy Assistant to the President Hogan Gidley would “comment on record about why they are allowing OAN to break WHCA’s social distancing rules and continue to attend these briefings.”
“OAN is a tiny right-wing cable channel, and its correspondent has a history promoting conspiracy theories,” according to Darcy.