The exclusion of the only White House reporter from an LGBTQ news organization and an acclaimed Black correspondent from the White House Christmas party guest list has some wondering if the two journalists were purposely banned from the upcoming holiday bash.
Chris Johnson, White House reporter for the LGBTQ-focused Washington Blade, and April Ryan, White House correspondent for the U.S.’ only African-American controlled network” American Urban Radio, were allegedly snubbed this year with no explanation, Snopes.com reported. This is despite the fact that both Johnson and Ryan have attended holiday press parties at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., in the past.
Snopes, known for its fact-checking prowess, said it reached out to the White House for its list of Christmas party invitees but hasnt received a response. So, rumors of an alleged ban on reporters from Black and LGBT news agencies are still abuzz and up in the air.
“The lack of invite is consistent [not only] with the White House press secretary (Sarah Huckabee Sanders) ignoring me during press briefings, but also the Trump administration’s general approach to excluding LGBT people as policy,” Johnson told the news site.
“I’m very frustrated about not being called on at press briefings because I feel I should have my questions answered to hold them accountable for these policies,” he added.
Unlike Johnson, Ryan has been called on plenty of times and exchanged sharp words with Sanders when the topics of race and slavery came up during press briefings. She told The Washington Post she was unsure why she was suddenly uninvited for the first time in 20 years, but felt it had something to do with the Trump administration’s dislike for her.
“I don’t think I was overlooked,” she said. “I think they don’t like me. For whatever reason, they have disdain for me.”
It’s still unclear why Johnson and Ryan were left off the guest list. For now, we can only suspect their invitations got lost in the mail.