White House reporters are increasingly frustrated by the obvious stonewalling and secretive nature of this administration. Sean Spicer held a press briefing today and the White House told reporters they would not be allowed to record the briefing. No audio, no video. During the briefing Sean Spicer had little to say other than stammering around, claiming he had no idea what the president was thinking about a particular issue.

Since Donald Trump himself hasn’t had a full press conference since February (!) these press briefings have become little more than an embarrassment for the White House and exercise in futility for the reporters assigned to cover the highest office in the land. Listen to the frustration from CNN’s Jim Acosta who called the briefing “bizarre” and went on to say he does not understand why any of this is being treated as normal and questioned why the media is “going along with this” at all.

Indeed, why are they going along with it? The American public deserves to know where the president stands on important public issues like climate change, Syria, the multiple investigations of his campaign and administration, public health care policy and any other damn thing we want to know about that pertains to all of us. It’s the American way. If Sean Spicer cannot stand up for the president, with the backdrop of the White House behind him, and keep the public informed, Donald Trump himself needs to find a way to the podium and explain his positions. If not, the media needs to turn out the lights and quit pumping quarters in the organ grinder’s monkey known as Sean Spicer*.

As Jim Acosta ended the segment, he noted this is becoming less like a White House press briefing and more like covering “bad reality television.” CNN’s Brian Stelter later joined the program to break down precisely how much the current White House crew has restricted the press in the last five months. It’s astounding.

The actor playing the organ grinder’s monkey is subject to change without notice.