On Fox Business, Sean Spicer says the White House needs to treat journalists “like children”

From the November 20 edition of Fox Business' Mornings with Maria Bartiromo:

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MARIA BARTIROMO (HOST): Meanwhile, new rules at the White House press secretary Sarah Sanders releasing new mandates at news conferences, which state this: “Journalists will ask a single question and then will yield the floor to others. A follow-up question may be permitted at the discretion of the president. Failure to respect these rules may result in suspension or cancellation of a journalist's hard pass.” This outline of course coming after officials dropped the effort to suspend CNN reporter Jim Acosta's press pass. Joining us right now is former White House press secretary under President Trump, America First Action PAC senior adviser, and author of The Briefing Book, Sean Spicer. Sean, it's good to see you, thanks so much for joining us this morning.

SEAN SPICER (FORMER WH PRESS SECRETARY): Good morning, thanks for having me.

BARTIROMO: New rules after the whole Acosta mess a couple weeks ago. What's your reaction to all of this?

SPICER: Well I think it's sad and unfortunate that it's come to this, you have to mandate professional behavior and decorum because a few bad apples are trying to make it about themselves and make a show of what is supposed to be an opportunity for journalists to ask the president questions. As you saw at that press conference, there's 100-plus members of the media from all sorts of backgrounds and publications that are seeking to ask the president of the United States a question, and yet one journalist in particular wants to monopolize it for himself make it into the Acosta show. So I think, in the past, there have been sort of unwritten rules in terms of how you behave and respect the office of the president. This one individual has clearly blown through them, and now we've come to the point we've got to treat them like children and put down rules and regulations so that people can actually behave. And it's not just about the president, right? I think mostly it comes down to treating other journalists with the respect that they deserve.

BARTIROMO: I don't think there is anything negative to have certain rules for decorum when you're speaking to the office of the president.


SPICER: Here is what I think is missing in this discussion, and I think what's sad, and an opportunity was missed by both CNN and the White House Correspondents Association -- which is this: They should have come forward and said you know what, we believe in a free press, we believe in access, we believe in transparency, but we also acknowledge that there are rules of decorum and professionalism that should stand as the model for our industry of journalism. And they failed to do that, and I think that that speaks volumes about the state of journalism today, where they defend this kind of inappropriate, unprofessional behavior that is not only disrespectful to the president of the United States, but disrespectful to other journalists.


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