A Huffington Post report found that in over a dozen TV interviews with Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump, not a single network has asked him about the alleged assault of Breitbart News reporter Michelle Fields by Trump's campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.
Fields filed a police report against Lewandowski Friday after she was allegedly forcefully grabbed by Lewandowski at a Trump rally while asking a question. Breitbart News' weak response to the incident led to Field and others resigning from the outlet. On the March 14 edition of Fox News' The Kelly File, Fields claimed that her former editor told her the incident would be “great” because it would lead to “more access to Donald Trump.”
Donald Trump's campaign has a history of problems with the press, including a Time magazine photographer being choked by a Secret Service agent. Lewandowski himself has been previously accused of making “sexually suggestive and at times vulgar comments to -- and about -- female journalists.” Media Matters previously found that the March 13 Sunday political talk shows on NBC, CNN, Fox, and CBS failed to ask Trump about the incident.
The Huffington Post's Michael Calderone wrote in a March 17 article that “Fields' charge hasn't come up once” in “more than a dozen TV interviews [with Trump] amounting to over two and a half hours of airtime.” Calderone noted that “Trump notably brought Lewandowski up on stage during his Tuesday night victory speech in Florida, praising him while he berated the reporters in attendance as 'disgusting' and 'horrible people'”:
Since former Breitbart News reporter Michelle Fields filed a police report Friday alleging that Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski assaulted her after a press conference, the GOP front-runner has done more than a dozen TV interviews amounting to over two and a half hours of airtime.
And in all that time, Fields' charge hasn't come up once.
Neither have more recent allegations against Lewandowski. Politico reported Tuesday that the top Trump aide has treated reporters roughly and made “sexually suggestive and at times vulgar comments” to and about female journalists covering the campaign. Lewandowski denied the claims.
As Lewandowski's behavior has gone unquestioned in Trump's recent interviews on ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, Fox News, MSNBC and CNN, the business mogul has only helped thrust his campaign manager further into the national spotlight.
Trump notably brought Lewandowski up on stage during his Tuesday night victory speech in Florida, praising him while he berated the reporters in attendance as “disgusting” and “horrible people.” Lewandowski enjoyed the media-bashing while Trump refused to take reporters' questions, even though the gathering was purportedly a “press conference.” One of the Politico reporters behind Tuesday's story was barred from the event, the latest in a pattern of retribution against news outlets that are critical of Trump.
Television journalists have subjected Trump to tough questions over the past week about encouraging violence at his events, with Friday night's cable news takeover understandably focused on the candidate's decision to cancel a Chicago rally. Some have also pressed Trump on the $40 million fraud lawsuit involving Trump University, his employment of foreign workers, his lack of a foreign policy team, and his past misogynistic remarks, resurrected in a new ad from an anti-Trump super PAC. They've also, of course, asked about Trump's recent victories and the state of the primary race.
Still, the lack of questions about the police report Fields filed against Lewandowski has been maddening to Trump's critics, who see it as a serious issue that's going completely unaddressed. Several journalists have pointed out when TV interviewers fail to bring it up, despite the incident's relevance to other questions about violence at Trump's campaign events and his treatment of women.