Media protests after Tillerson takes only one reporter to Japan

Is Tillerson to Blame for Foggy Bottom's Funk, or Is It Deeper Institutional Issues?

Is Tillerson to Blame for Foggy Bottom's Funk, or Is It Deeper Institutional Issues?

Rather than advocating for US interests and values, Tillerson has ducked news conferences, ignored shouted questions, kept answers on a recent trip to under two dozen words, and trashed five decades of bipartisan tradition dating back to the Nixon era by refusing to bring State Department press on his plane to Asia this week. "As time goes by, there will be fewer military conflicts that the US will be directly engaged in". "We will also make every effort to include a contingent of media on the Secretary's plane going forward". News organizations pay for the cost of the reporters' travel.

McPike is a White House correspondent for IJR, and previously reported for CNN, Real Clear Politics, NBC News, and National Journal, according to IJR's website when she joined in February.

The situation follows weeks of friction between Mr. Tillerson's office and journalists from other news outlets that more regularly cover the department, including the major news wires that report hourly on the secretary's official statements, meetings and movements. "We expect that the diplomatic press corps will be afforded access to Secretary Tillerson equal to that given to the reporter on the plane".

The State Department claimed that the press corps could not be accommodated because Tillerson opted for a smaller plane to save money.

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"We don't take this opportunity lightly and recognize the controversy surrounding press access for the trip", it said in a statement.

Some of those beat reporters are flying commercially, trying to keep up with Tillerson.

The State Department Correspondents Association said in a statement that it was "disappointed" in the decision for Tillerson to bring only one reporter on the trip, but would continue to work with the State Department to address concerns. In 2014, Skatell told The New York Times he wanted to start a site after observing a gap in reaching "a more mainstream centre-right audience". In rare cases, particularly late in a secretary's tenure, some news outlets have declined, such as former Secretary John Kerry's December 2016 trip to Saudi Arabia. The quiet demeanor of the new secretary of state, Rex Tillerson; the vacancies in almost all the second- and third-tier positions; and the intention of the White House to curtail State's capacity to be an effective player in national security have converged to marginalize this key institution. He was rarely expected to answer media queries and never had to travel with reporters.

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