One of President Donald Trump’s favorite propagandists from OANN just got herself banned from future press briefings by the White House Correspondents Association for repeatedly violating social distancing rules designed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Chanel Rion often spouts conspiracy theories and helps Trump spread his lies and misinformation. The fact that she has a seat in the press briefing room is truly a mystery considering she is nowhere near being a real journalist, nor is OANN a real news organization.
But when the WHCA announced new rules limiting the number of reporters in the briefing room every day and putting them on a rotation basis in the midst of the pandemic, Rion frequently refused to observe them and would attend anyway by standing in the back of the room. Whenever asked to leave, she would claim to be a special guest of White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham, who has never held a press briefing since taking over the job.
Well, the WHCA has had enough, and officially announced that Rion has been barred from attending press briefings entirely.
“Under this policy, we have asked reporters who don’t have a seat not to attend press briefings,” the statement said. “We are writing to inform you that the WHCA Board has voted this evening to remove a news outlet from the rotation for a seat in the briefing room. We did this because a reporter for this outlet twice attended press briefings in contravention of this policy. We do not take this action lightly. This is a matter of public safety.”
Here’s the full statement via Twitter:
The WHCA taking action after OANN staffer Chanel Rion repeatedly broke the agreed-upon rules –> https://t.co/8uTRLaVSbd
— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) April 1, 2020
The statement did not mention Rion or OANN directly, but it’s clear who they were referencing.
They did the right thing, but it really does beg the question, if the WHCA has the power to bar people from the press briefing room, why haven’t they taken action sooner to prevent right-wing propagandists from poisoning the news cycle in the first place?
Nevertheless, at least they eliminated one propagandist from the room. And she has nobody to blame but herself and her belief that the rules didn’t apply to her because Trump likes her.
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