With cameras banned, CNN sends sketch artist to White House Press Briefing

Lights, sketches, on


Three times this week, The White House banned cameras at its press briefings.

CNN had enough.

The Cable News Network decided Friday to send their Supreme Court sketch artist, Bill Hennessy, to the White House to document the briefing.

Hennessy, a long time sketch artist who had previously sketched the Clinton impeachment proceedings, was tasked with drawing the camera-less press briefing while standing in the back of the briefing room.

The unique idea was one that CNN says “paints a picture for those that couldn't be in the room” and is similar to Supreme Court arguments in that both are “on-the-record events in which cameras are banned.”

Friday’s banning of cameras came four days after CNN’s Jim Acosta called out Press Secretary Sean Spicer and the White House during “CNN Newsroom” saying, “When Sean Spicer…comes in, and just says, you can’t record the video or audio from these briefings…that wouldn’t be tolerated at city council meetings.”

The lack of transparency has more than just Acosta upset, but has news organizations across the nation and even The White House Correspondents’ Association furious.

“We believe strongly that Americans should be able to watch and listen to senior government officials face questions from an independent news media, in keeping with the principles of the First Amendment and the need for transparency at the highest levels of government,” Jeff Mason, WHCA president, said in a statement Friday morning.

When asked about the banning of cameras and the recording of audio, Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Friday, “Some days we’ll do it [on camera]. I think it’s great for us to come out here and have a substantive discussion about policies. I don’t think that the be all and end all is whether it’s on television or not.”

With just four briefings this June being allowed to be filmed, it will be interesting to see if the White House in the future complies with the request of the media and The White House Correspondents’ Association to allow cameras back into the White House and briefings back onto TVs in millions of living rooms across the nation.