Trump and Acosta: When showboats collide

Other than the outcomes of actual votes, vanishingly little news occurs where cameras are present. The real work of lawmaking is done elsewhere.

Likewise, actual scoops are rarely obtained in the White House briefing room. Looking for news in a televised news conference is like looking for your lost contact lens under the streetlamp because that’s where the light is. We all stare mesmerized at our screen, trying to slake the endless thirst for political news in our need to understand this administration’s actions. The vital function of actually inquiring into the doings of the president and receiving information about the same has been shunted into side rooms and private chats. (Where, by the way, many very talented and undercompensated journalists labor valiantly.)

Instead, for some, the briefing room has come to serve as a weird hybrid contraption for self-promotion — part soapbox, part springboard. Reporters can burnish their credentials before heading off to gigs as talking heads.