- Bill Hennessy/CNN
In response to the White House’s recent trend of prohibiting cameras at press briefings, CNN on Friday said it sent its in-house Supreme Court sketch artist, Bill Hennessy, to Sean Spicer’s latest press briefing.
CNN said it “equated press briefings to a Supreme Court argument — an on-the-record event at which cameras are banned.” The network argued sketches of the briefing had news value in the same way courtroom sketches do.
News organizations and the White House Correspondents’ Association have protested the Trump administration’s decision to scale back on-camera press briefings to unprecedented levels.
“Some days we’ll do it [on camera]. I think it’s great for us to come out here and have a substantive discussion about policies. I don’t think that the be all and end all is whether it’s on television or not,” Spicer said Friday.
CNN reported that Spicer and deputy press Sarah Huckabee Sanders have held most of the briefings off-camera in June, with only four such occasions permitting cameras to broadcast the event.
The White House Correspondents’ Association urged the Trump administration to stop holding off-camera press briefings in a statement released Friday. The association’s president, Jeff Mason, said he’d spoken with Spicer and Sanders and that the pair had agreed to consider the WHCA’s concerns.