The Hill’s Jonathan Easley gets a second story out of the complaints of guests of the president at the White House reception for conservative media this past Monday afternoon. Yesterday I took a look at Easley’s first story on the event in “Not at the White House with Trump.” We still see the event through a gauzy filter. I posted my own first-hand account of the event early Tuesday morning in “At the White House with Trump.”
Easley quotes an anonymous White House source addressing the complaint of Easley’s interlocutors that the event was only declared on the record at its conclusion and that guests were precluded from recording the president’s remarks: “This is perhaps the first time I’ve heard of taking a meeting with a principal, in this case with the President of the United States, from background to on the record and seeing public outcry from reporters. It’s the silliest thing I’ve ever heard of. Reporters who brought in pen and pad made news and others didn’t and probably had to explain to their editors why they didn’t break anything.”
That’s the point I made in my comments on Easley’s first article. I recounted my search to buy a notebook for use at the event that ended happily in the CVS pharmacy at Dupont Circle on Monday morning. There I found the Caliber 1-subject notebook distributed by CVS. I highly recommend it. It worked well with with a pen. Jonathan, you can quote me by name on that.
Easley has yet to quote any guest commenting positively about the event. He could have quoted me. [Correction: Easley quotes Bob Fredericks speaking positively about the event in his first (now updated) story.] I could also have steered him in the right direction for the views of others. You aren’t working hard enough if you’ve written two stories on the event and failed to find a guest who had an encouraging word about the event [see correction above].
I wish the administration would do more to develop relationships with conservative media such as Power Line at the expense of its avowed enemies at the New York Times and the Washington Post. On that point I agree with the gist of a comment made by one of Easley’s anonymous sources, though I would put it differently than Easley’s source does. Jonathan, again, you can quote me by name on that.
UPDATE: Jonathan Easley responds via Twitter that he quotes Bob Fredericks by name in his two stories and that Fredericks speaks highly of the event in the first story (which indicates that it was updated after it was originally posted). Easley has now advised me that the positive Fredericks quote appeared in the updated version of the story. I made the “mistake” of relying on the original version of Easley’s story that I read quite carefully several times.