Wednesday, 24 May, 2017

Tillerson shuns all but conservative website on Asia tour

Tillerson Said to Favor Leaner Meaner State Department Tillerson Said to Favor Leaner Meaner State Department
Tracy Craig | 16 March, 2017, 00:52

"We may not share a common view on this, given the makeup of the membership", he added. Media outlets have been griping for days now about Tillerson's decision not to bring the traditional pool of 10 or more reporters on the trip, and the choice of bringing just one journalist from a presumably friendly outlet is not exactly smoothing things over.

Last week, the State Department announced that Tillerson would not allow the press to travel with him on his government plane during his trip to Japan, South Korea, and China, an extremely unusual step that will reportedly make it "exceedingly hard, if not impossible" for journalists to cover the proceedings. Last week, the State Department officially offered McPike an opportunity to cover the secretary's upcoming trip to Asia.

McPike, the IJR reporter, is traveling unilaterally and is not a pool reporter.

Acting State Department spokesman Mark Toner said in a phone briefing with reporters on Tuesday that the agency was considering "having a seat available" on his plane. Past secretaries of state, both Republican and Democrat, have traditionally traveled with a small group of reporters.

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The State Department claimed that the press corps could not be accommodated because Tillerson opted for a smaller plane to save money. Either circumstances will remain the same, and the press will still have limited access to Tillerson when he travels.

The secretary has not been as press-friendly as his predecessor, John Kerry.

Or Tillerson will switch back to a plane that can accommodate the diplomatic press corps, suggesting that the decision with regard to the Asia trip was arbitrary, meant to send a message to journalists: Act more like McPike, and you, too, can have access to the secretary.

The conservative-leaning outlet, which bills itself as a digitally savvy news source for millennials, has 35 million monthly readers and more than 50 reporters, according to its website. Trending Tuesday headlines on the site included "Planned Parenthood Executive Makes Bigtime Humiliating Mistake of Going on Tucker Carlson's Show" and "Dem. Congressman Warned Not Once, Not Twice, But Three Times - Then Officers Put Him in Handcuffs".

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