One proposal on dealing with the media that was pitched to President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team calls for drug testing the White House press corps.
Trump’s attacks on the mainstream media were a cornerstone of his campaign and last week he called BuzzFeed a “failing pile of garbage,” but forcing reporters to undergo random drug tests would provoke a media meltdown.
The pee-in-a-cup proposal (yellow journalism indeed) was one of 13 ideas one candidate for White House press secretary wrote in November in a confidential memo to members of the Presidential Transition Team’s Executive Committee.
He didn’t get the job, and I am not naming him because his proposal could harsh the mellow of his fellow journalists.
Sean Spicer, who was spokesman for the Republican National Committee, is Trump’s press secretary, and told me, “I support whatever security measures are recommended by the Secret Service.”
“Journalists who are at the White House more than one day per week should be subject to drug screenings to occur no more than twice a year at random times,” the memo states. “Refusal to comply should exclude them from credentialing entirely.”
The job applicant also proposed taking away the right of the White House Correspondents’ Association to control reporters’ seating arrangements in the press briefing room.
The current system favors TV networks and certain newspapers at the expense of more ideologically diverse Web sites, bloggers and podcasters.
The Trump administration, the candidate wrote, “should clear a path to communicate more directly with the people and end White House press practices that serve no useful purpose other than feeding the beast.”