Lawd, it’s been a rough year for April Ryan as a White House correspondent. The Trump administration clearly doesn’t care for the veteran American Urban Radio Networks correspondent and CNN political analyst.
In March, former White House press secretary Sean Spicer reprimanded Ryan for shaking her head while he addressed alleged White House scandals involving Russia. And interactions haven’t been much smoother with current presidential press secretary Sarah Huckabee, whom Ryan recently asked on Twitter to prove she actually baked the chocolate pecan pie she posted a suspiciously perfect photo for Thanksgiving. “Show it to us on a table,” Ryan said.
So it’s not surprising that Ryan wasn’t invited to the White House holiday party for the first time in her 20 years covering 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Essence.com reports that while speaking with CNN host Don Lemon about another brief back and forth moment with Huckabee about North Korea —which has since gone viral—the Baltimore native also addressed the change she’s noticed in how today’s journalists interact with the current administration.
“Some of these reporters were embedded with the candidates,” Ryan said. “And when they come in, they feel a friendship to a certain extent with them, then you have reporters who are from the same party. I mean, I remember there was a time, and Don, I know you remember this, we used to hear someone on TV say, ‘that’s the way it was.’ And you didn’t know his politics, you just trusted the facts.”
Elaborating further, Ryan went on to note how reporters—especially reporters of color—who question the White House are automatically treated as “opposition” and assumed to be supporters of the opposing party.
“Now if you question [the Trump White House], you’re considered someone from the opposing party,versus just [a journalist] trying to get the facts,” she added. “And God forbid, you are someone of a different race, I was speaking of myself, you’re considered an opposition. I don’t bring my politics, I just ask questions about what’s right and wrong, or things that go on in Washington.”
In better news, however, Ryan was named 2017 journalist of the year by the National Association of Black Journalists.
“April Ryan is a true trailblazer and truth seeker,” NABJ President Sarah Glover said in release announcing the award. “She’s dogged and unapologetic about her pursuit of the story. In the White House press corps circle, where too few black women have been given an opportunity to report, April has excelled and persevered in spite of the many obstacles she has confronted. Her work has risen to the top.”
As an author, Ryan has won an NAACP Image Award for her book, The Presidency in Black and White.
“It is wonderful to be honored by such an esteemed organization,” Ryan said of the NABJ award in a press release. “I am humbled and honored. So many of these [NABJ] journalists do important work and I am so thankful they would think of me for this honor. It has been an amazing couple of months and you guys give me some wind to say ‘keep going.'”