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"Trump TV" announces new 24-hour network will get access to White House press briefings

Can Trump grant the online channel dedicated to his campaign into the White House without proper credentials?


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Sophia Tesfaye
December 7, 2016 11:41PM (UTC)

The conservative online media outlet Right Side Broadcasting Network (RSBN), dubbed "Trump TV" by the Washington Post, announced this week that it is expanding into a 24-hour operation that will “be in the White House ... at the press briefings” during the Trump administration.

Media Matters first reported the curious claim by Right Side Broadcasting Network host Joe Seales during the outlet's online coverage of Trump’s “Thank You” rally in North Carolina on Tuesday night.

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The pro-Trump website has live-streamed nearly every Trump campaign event, produced debate analysis with Trump campaign aides that streamed on Trump’s official Facebook Page, and even set-up a camera to capture transition efforts from the lobby of Trump Tower for its nearly 250,000 YouTube subscribers. Seemingly with the blessing of the Trump campaign, RBSN has set itself up as the official destination of broadcast counter news programming for the pro-Trump crowd.

"Anything that Trump does live we will be there," Seales told his viewers Tuesday night. "We will be there at the inauguration, we will be in the White House, we will be at the press briefings. I promise you that. You can count on Right Side Broadcasting" he said.

In order for a journalist to gain access to the White House press briefings, however, she must be credentialed by the five-member Standing Committee of Correspondents. The group, elected by accredited reporters, is meant to preserve press freedom by relieving the White House of the task of deciding who gets press access. One major requirement set forth by the group is that reporters must demonstrate that they work for a publication whose "principal business is the daily dissemination of original news and opinion of interest to a broad segment of the public" and is "editorially independent of any institution, foundation or interest group that lobbies the federal government." A seemingly important caveat in this era of rampant misinformation and so-called fake news.

RSBN's only two original programs are hosted by Wayne Dupree and Mark Burns, two vocal supporters of Trump during his campaign.

Trump, who has yet to hold a press conference as president-elect, can simply ignore past protocol, however, and allow a non-credentialed reporter into his press briefings — if he ever holds one. More from Media Matters:

Trump could, however, circumvent press rules and procedures by allowing a non-credentialed reporter to ask questions during the briefings, which is exactly what happened in the last Republican administration. Jeff Gannon of the right-wing Talon News was “admitted on a day-to-day basis” into the White House briefing room where he was “repeatedly allowed to ask — usually friendly” questions to the Bush administration.

 

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“I have no interest in Trump TV,” said Trump ahead of the election.

For his part, Seales told Business Insider in September that he funds a staff of 10 on donations averaging about $25 apiece and plans to build a new studio outside of the Beltway, in Eastern Alabama.


Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's Deputy Politics Editor and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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