JTN founder John Solomon calls for creation of new White House 'press pool'

Veteran journalist criticizes 'grandstanding,' 'political gotchas' of current White House press briefings.

Updated: August 11, 2020 - 6:08pm

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Just the News Founder and Editor-in-Chief John Solomon is calling for the creation of a new White House press pool, one that would practice authentic journalism by asking "the people's questions" rather than participating in what Solomon claims is an atmosphere of "political effect."

Solomon was speaking to Matt Margolis on the podcast John Solomon Reports. Margolis, a conservative columnist and author, argues in his latest book "Airborne" that the American media has "weaponized the coronavirus against Donald Trump." 

Margolis during the podcast argued that journalists at the White House press conference are in general "trying to create a narrative" instead of "trying to get the information."

Solomon, in response, stated that White House officials need to move toward creating "a second White House press pool" in order to "create competition" and promote authentic journalism at the executive branch. 

The White House Correspondents Association "has had a monopoly on [the White House briefing room] for so long," Solomon said, stating that the WHCA has engaged in effective censorship by the way it conducts press briefings.

"They don't ask the people's questions anymore," Solomon said, arguing that journalists are more likely now to ask "grandstanding" questions that fail to elicit useful information. 

Recalling the at-times acrimonious interactions between Reagan/Bush Press Secretary Marlin Fitzwater and former ABC White House Correspondent Sam Donaldson, Solomon said: "[Those press briefings] may have been confrontational, but at least you got news, at least you were asking the people's questions. Today, all you get is political effect."

Solomon, the former Washington assistant bureau chief for the Associated Press, said: "I almost never expressed an opinion. But since it's a professional opinion about the state of the news media, it is time for this White House to create a pool."

"If done right," Solomon added, "you can bring some real news every day, get the American people what they need to know. Instead, we get a lot of late night comedy skits out of it. It's terrible."

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