Okay, but what started everything? Simply put, it's the volume of 'fake news' that is being reported by the media. Trump and others want to see it stopped. 'Fake news' is the new name for what was once called yellow journalism (external - login to view). It has been going on for a long time. In the electronic age however, it is more rampant and spreads quicker than when newspapers were doing it. This is thanks to the Internet, cell phones and instant communications via Skype and Facebook.
According to webopedia.com,
"Fake news, or hoax news, refers to false information or propaganda published under the guise of being authentic news." (external - login to view)
In a nutshell, the WH is sick of the amount of b.s. reporting going on.
For those of us sitting on the outside looking in, this whole situation is confusing. The media is saying one thing and the WH is saying another. Who is right? What's going to happen? The short answer is that Trump has decided the press needs to be disciplined and has tugged hard on their reins. Not everyone will see it this way, but Trump is doing what our daddies did, he is correcting aberrant behaviour. There is sufficient evidence that the truth is not always being reported.
If your powers of Google Foo are average, you can find this evidence quickly.
Because Joe Public doesn't really understand what's going on, they pick sides. Some are yelling, 'Trump is a dictator!', while others are screaming, 'The press are liars!' It's what humans do. They rationalize why their side is the only right one and dig in their heels. But the average American, and the world in general, can scream all they want. We don't have any say on how things will play out...but we do get to watch!
The media counters, saying that it is doing its job properly and that the president is undermining the freedom of the press. Well, the truth be told, President Trump or the WH haven't broken any laws. What he is doing is meting out punishment. If you wish to sit in the media room at the WH, do your job correctly and behave yourselves.
The media, unused to being shut out of the WH, is flabbergasted. A few journalists have questioned the validity of the president's actions, but that's just posturing. It's the press beating their chests. They are angry that they cannot simply flash a press card and be admitted. They are no longer on the list.
Is there any threat to democracy? Hardly! As long as there is a media presence receiving the daily brief, then the system is still working. Information gets disseminated. And really, before this latest blow up, not everyone could gain admittance to the daily briefings anyway. There was only so much space. What the WH did in the past was to allot space to the larger news agencies. But there is no law saying that CNN or MSNBC gets to push aside others and take that space.
Now, it's just different, smaller media that will send their feeds to CNN or Fox, and not the other way around. And that's unlikely to last long unless the big news organizations do not learn a lesson, which is, report the facts.
It is extremely unlikely that the WH will completely stop false information from being reported, but they should try. It is reasonable to assume that it will be slowed, and the big agencies will learn a valuable lesson: Verify your sources, and double check what is being reported. Don't be a liar - even an accidental one.
Certainly, Trump is playing his cards in a way that the press corps has never seen before. But the senior staff and corporate bosses of the big news organizations should learn something from this event. Report the facts. Let the public decide how and what to make of it. Do not interpret, explain, embellish, hide or skew anything.
A simple lesson, but one which the press will fight until they finally realize that news is not created. It just happens.