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For all the transparency in government that the national media say they want, it’s a curiosity that they suddenly seem to need so much less of it.

It’s been a show to watch Donald Trump openly deliberate about who he’s going to pick to fill out his cabinet, having high-profile politicians and personalities come in and out of Trump Tower to meet with the president-elect.

The public has so often had to rely on reports of rumors and considerations as these matters in the past were typically done in private and at a distance further than in one of New York City’s most famous buildings.

Now there’s a near 24-hour stream of live video out of Trump’s HQ, where reporters are close enough to ask questions of the big-name guests and cabinet contenders as they come and go.

So much access is what a reporter’s dreams are made of.

But for the national media, Trump’s method of letting this play out in front of cameras has been an affront to tradition and the seriousness of the process.

It’s “unprecedented.”

In the most concerned voice she could muster, NBC’s Katy Tur said last week that “this is a serious break from tradition about how you take these cabinet positions and how you fill them.”

She said things are normally done “behind the scenes” — We love when government decisions are secretive! — and that Trump was “treating this” process “like one of his reality shows” by “parading in and out of Trump tower and keeping people in suspense.”

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It remains unclear which people outside of Washington are on the edge of their seats, waiting to hear who the next secretary of agriculture will be.

But comparing Trump’s transition process to a “reality show” is a way for the media to say without a substantial reason: We don’t like what he’s doing.

“It should surprise no one that the host of ‘The Apprentice’ would approach picking his Cabinet like choosing the winner of a reality television show,” said the Washington Post.

A CNN report, with a heavy dose of originality, said Trump is “running his search for top talent like a reality show.”

Whether on purpose or by consequence of him not being a typically walled-off politician, Trump’s allies have taken to airing out their differences of opinion in public.

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“My hope is the new administration will come to us with a supplemental request,” Thornberry said.

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Trump’s former campaign manager Kellyanne Conway has been an outspoken critic of Mitt Romney, who is said to be under consideration for secretary of state.

She said on CNN that Trump supporters “feel betrayed” by the possibility of his appointment.

“This is extraordinarily undisciplined,” MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough said this week of Conway.

Referring to a tweet Conway had sent out saying she’s heard criticism of Romney from Trump supporters, New York Times politics reporter Jeremy Peters said on MSNBC it was “unbelievable” for her “to do this in such an unprecedented way, attacking [Romney] on Thanksgiving morning …” (Did she at least go to confession after?!)

Mark Halperin of Bloomberg Politics, stunned at the openness and candor, said Conway’s hits on Romney were “unprecedented.” In case viewers didn’t catch it, he followed up, “It’s unprecedented.”

This is the same news media that had blood coming out of their wherever when Trump, after winning the election, went out for dinner without telling the press pool he was leaving Trump Tower.

When Trump’s having dinner, the health of our democracy demands a watchful eye from an independent press. But when he’s filling out the next government, it should be done in complete secrecy. Otherwise, he’s mocking the process by turning it into a “reality show.”

But if the news media weren’t aware, “reality shows” are popular in America.

Eddie Scarry is a media reporter for the Washington Examiner. Thinking of submitting an op-ed to the Washington Examiner? Be sure to read our guidelines on submissions.

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