Donald Trump addresses reporters while standing in front of a row of American flags.

In a Shocking Move, the GOP Convention Will Not Allow Press

It's almost like they're embarrassed or something.

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There’s two things Donald Trump loves: his family and his country. JUST KIDDING, it’s bloviating before a crowd of adoring fans and reveling in the subsequent media coverage. So it comes as quite a shock that one of his biggest platforms of the election cycle, the Republican National Convention, will be shutting out the press for the first time in recent history.

The RNC convention spokesperson said in a statement, “Given the health restrictions and limitations in place within the state of North Carolina, we are planning for the Charlotte activities to be closed press Friday, August 21 — Monday, August 24.” They added, “We are happy to let you know if this changes, but we are working within the parameters set before us by state and local guidelines regarding the number of people who can attend events.”

Trump’s renomination at the GOP convention should be an easy, self congratulatory victory lap. But with a raging pandemic, an economic collapse, and his lowest approval ratings to date, republicans are choosing to quietly endorse Trump’s second run. Wow, it’s almost like they’re ashamed of their own president or something.

The convention, which will take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, is subject to the safety restrictions and parameters of North Carolina’s democratic governor Roy Cooper. Trump threatened to relocate the convention to Jacksonville, Florida, but eventually bowed out as COVID-19 cases kept spiking in the state.

The RNC has said that they will live-stream some portions of the convention, like the delegates voting. Trump, who normally would make an acceptance speech, will instead be privately thanking the delegates in a sober, stripped down convention. It’s a shocking turn from the president who has never passed up press coverage. Trump has notoriously impersonated a fake spokesman, John Barron, to drum up his own press.

The convention will only be hosting 336 delegates to vote in person (one for every six delegates) in accordance with the limited capacity. Obviously both major party conventions will be operating at limited capacity due to the coronavirus. Still, the act of banning the press is simply unprecedented. Many journalists took to Twitter to question the move, and to wonder what exactly the GOP has to hide:

(via CNN, image: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.