Left-wing Poltico published a hit piece on conservative news outlets on Saturday. Contributors Ben Schreckinger and Hadas Gold took particular offense to The Gateway Pundit. The duo accused TGP of having “ties to Bannon” and of running “National Enquirer-style headlines.”
They also accuse The Gateway Pundit of inaccuracies when they were one of the top websites running the ‘Trump is Putin’s Puppet’ hoax for several months.
Advertisement - story continues below
Spicer’s innovations have garnered mixed reviews from reporters. “It creates a carnival-like atmosphere in the briefing room,” said one veteran correspondent, who speculated that this plays into the administration’s desire to portray the press as a pack of unruly animals.
“During the Obama administration, we were called on during nearly every press briefing,” said CNN’s Jim Acosta. “During this administration, we have gone four briefings in a row without a question.”
But grumble as they might about the increased attention lavished on conservative outlets like Newsmax, mainstream reporters do not dispute the legitimacy of their presence in the briefing room.
The same cannot be said for the Gateway Pundit, a pro-Trump blog with ties to Bannon known for running National Enquirer-style headlines about Hillary Clinton’s alleged maladies and having to retract an unusual number of its posts after they turn out to be based on internet hoaxes. At the invitation of the Trump administration, the site has stood up its first White House correspondent, Lucian Wintrich, a former advertising agency creative who has no background in journalism and first entered politics by exhibiting erotic photographs of scantily clad men in “Make America Great Again” hats at last summer’s Republican National Convention. The publication is viewed as the administration’s fifth column inside the briefing room, even more so than Breitbart, which has trashed Priebus and helped derail Trump’s health care bill.
Indeed, Gateway Pundit’s primary mission in setting up a White House correspondent is to take on the White House press corps it is joining. “What fucking idiots,” Wintrich said of his new colleagues, recalling one mid-March briefing. “They were totally fixated on Trump’s tweets.”
Any news site accusing Gateway Pundit of running “National Enquirer-style headlines while pushing Putin conspiracies on a daily basis has a lot of nerve.