“Skype seats” was one of the terms that came out of the press conference on Monday, January 23, when White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer spoke to members of the media and the public at large via a live-streaming YouTube video feed.
The White House YouTube channel broadcast the press conference, wherein Spicer spoke about opening up access to journalists outside of the D.C. area via the “Skype seats” process. The White House press room experienced a shifting of procedures on Monday when the first question that is traditionally given to the Associated Press was instead given to the New York Post instead.
The Skype seats that will be added to the coveted White House press room will begin the process of being added later this week, said Spicer. Reporters who live beyond the Washington, D.C., area outside of 50 miles will be able to join the journalists in the White House press corps, as reported by the Verge. Spicer noted that the Skype seats would open up White House briefings to journalists not in the immediate area — and open it to news organizations that do no have day press passes to such briefings. Spicer noted that the traditional process of applying for a White House press day pass would remain open to any news organization willing to apply for such a press pass. However, Spicer called it exciting that a “diverse group of journalists from around the country” could also benefit from covering the White House briefings.
Spicer has not yet explained the process for reporters to score a seat among the Skype seats, but Spicer did say that there would be four Skype seats available. Expect more details on the Skype seats process of application to spill out in coming days. According to Google, there’s been no mention of Skype or Skype seats on the White House website in the past week. Spicer claimed that Trump’s White House wants a healthy dialogue with the press and people in the U.S.
The announcement about Skype seats comes on the heels of Kellyanne Conway’s claims that Trump’s camp gave “alternative facts.”
Spicer’s announcement about Skype seats brought a swift reaction on social media. Some people were excited about the Skype seats, claiming that it would give reporters beyond the mainstream media access to the White House. Others joked and created memes, with one showing Putin sitting at a computer, quipping that he was waiting for his Skype seat. Others wondered if the Skype seats process would be undertaken in a Celebrity Apprentice-style fashion. And then there were the jokes from people claiming that folks would raffle off their Skype seats to the highest bidder. Certain tweets featured photos of KKK members alongside jokes that they would be the ones taking the Skype seats.
Reactions to the Skype seats announcement can be read in sample comments below.
#Democracy In Action: “Maybe the hundreds of thousands missing at the inauguration [were] in Skype seats
[Featured Image by Andrew Harnik/AP Images]