July 12, 2017
The Gazette presumes that everyone deserves our respect and that nobody has to prove it or do anything heroic in order to obtain it. However, like the presumption of innocence that animates the American system of justice, it can be eroded by evidence to the contrary. Given enough evidence, “beyond a reasonable doubt,” the presumption of innocence, or respect, falls away. A case in point: the recently initiated practice of banning cameras from the daily press briefings at the White House.
This new restriction on the press, this direct attack upon the 1st Amendment, is only the latest evidence that this admin doesn’t deserve the respect that we freely offer to everyone. This new policy reeks of old school, ruling class divide and rule manipulation because the ban applies to cameras and thus affects only a subset of the White House press corps. For some it will make no practical difference, while for others it will make doing their job impossible.
Visual imagery is used in many different ways by the press and it’s not for anybody in government to decide how much of it is the right amount. There are media outlets that barely use any at all and others that rely heavily on it. The Gazette is one of the latter. Brought up on Life, Look, Playboy, and Nat Geo, among others, and countless fashion mags, we learned to appreciate stories told primarily with images. We pay homage to those that went before us and we humbly try follow in their foot steps.
The Gazette‘s beat is New York City not DC, so even if the admin ordered the White House press corps to wear silly hats or dance a jig while entering, it wouldn’t directly impact our work. Yet we take the camera ban personally and reject the premise entirely. We are not the employees, subjects, family, friends, or anything else of this admin. We are American citizens who will still be around long after current political office holders have come and gone. The White House is where we let our current President live for awhile, while he happens to be in office. He or she never takes ownership of it.
In short, it’s not your damn house President Trump/Sean Spicer/Sara Huckabee Sanders. It’s OUR house and you are guests. You’re our employees, not our boss. We pay the rent so you all can stay there. So if we pop by the White House with our cameras and that bothers you, tough shit. Leave. Resign. Go home to your rich guy penthouse in midtown and lord it over people you pay to kiss ass. Tell them ‘no cameras’ if that makes you feel good, but don’t tell us. We don’t work for you and we don’t care what you want us to do or not do in our own house. You may own a lot of buildings but you definitely don’t own this one, you arrogant jerk.