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What is a Press Gaggle?

A press gaggle is an informal briefing held by the White House press secretary.

What is a Press Gaggle?

In American politics, a press gaggle refers to an informal briefing that is held by the White House and is off-camera. Although it is on the record, recording of the event is not allowed. It is an opportunity for reporters to ask questions of the White House press secretary, and in general is attended by a wide variety of media outlets.

Selective Attendance

On February 24, 2017, it was announced that a gaggle was to be held in the White House briefing room. However, in an unusual change of events, only reporters who were invited were permitted to attend. Many major media outlets were not invited to the gaggle. In this particular incident, CBS, ABC, AND FOX were all invited, while CNN, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Buzzfeed, and Politico were excluded. Some outlets such as the Associated Press chose to not attend the gaggle as a form of protest against the way it was organized.

Media Reaction

CNN News called the exclusion of several media outlets "unacceptable" and tweeted the statement "apparently, this is who they retaliate when you report facts they don't like. We'll keep reporting regardless." The New York Times also reacted to the event, stating "nothing like this has ever happened at the White House in our long history of covering multiple administrations of different parties."

The White House Correspondents Assosciation (WHCA) also went on record to protest the exclusion of media oulets at the gaggle. "The WHCA board is protesting strongly against how today's gaggle is being handled by the White House," they released in a statement. "We encourage the organizations that were allowed to share the material with others in the press corps who were not. The board will be discussing this further with White House staff."

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