Media Slam Trump’s Revocation Of The Washington Post’s Press Credentials

Media Slam Trump’s Revocation Of The Washington Post’s Press Credentials

››› ››› BOBBY LEWIS

Journalists and veteran reporters criticized Trump’s “unprecedented escalation in his war with the political press corps” after he announced that he is revoking The Washington Post’s press credentials.

Donald Trump Revokes The Washington Post’s Press Credentials

Trump Yanks Washington Post Credentials. In response to what he charged was “incredibly inaccurate” coverage of his campaign, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump announced his campaign would revoke the press credentials for the “phony and dishonest Washington Post”:

Donald Trump says his presidential campaign is revoking credentials provided to The Washington Post.

Trump writes on his Facebook page that, "Based on the incredibly inaccurate coverage and reporting of the record setting Trump campaign, we are hereby revoking the press credentials of the phony and dishonest Washington Post."

He writes that he's "no fan of" President Barack Obama, but faults the Post for a headline posted Monday that he says read, "Donald Trump suggests President Obama was involved with Orlando shooting."

The headline on the story Monday afternoon read, "Donald Trump seems to connect President Obama to Orlando shooting."

Trump said in an interview on Fox News Channel Monday morning that when it comes to fighting terrorism, the president "doesn't get it or, or he gets it better than anybody understands." [The New York Times, 6/13/16]

Media Note Retribution Is A “Pattern” For Trump’s Campaign

Politico: Post Ban Is The “Latest Battle In Trump’s War With The Press.” Politico’s Kelsey Sutton noted that the Post is not the first organization to face retaliation from Trump. Sutton writes that bans “have targeted legacy organizations, broadcast news outlets and digital publications alike — and many have been in response to articles or editorials in those publications that reflect poorly upon the presidential candidate:”

The Post is the latest in a string of publications that Trump has banned from attending his campaign events — although this is one of only a few bans Trump has explicitly announced. The bans over the months have targeted legacy organizations, broadcast news outlets and digital publications alike — and many have been in response to articles or editorials in those publications that reflect poorly upon the presidential candidate.

Earlier this month, POLITICO's Ben Schreckinger was removed from a Trump event in California, having obtained one of the tickets distributed to the public. The author of POLITICO's California Playbook, Carla Marinucci, was also asked to leave, but was allowed to stay on the condition she not speak to anyone at the event.

In July of last year, the Trump campaign denied the Des Moines Register credentials to attend a campaign event, which campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said was in retaliation for an editorial that ran in the publication several days prior. Likewise, The New Hampshire Union Leader found itself blocked from campaign events apparently in response to critical editorials about the candidate. The Union-Leader was also removed as a co-sponsor of the New Hampshire GOP primary debate that aired on ABC.

[...]

Buzzfeed has also been blocked from covering Trump’s events. Evan McMorris-Santoro was denied entry to a campaign event in November and was blocked from attending the event when he tried to enter through the general admission line. And The Daily Beast’s Olivia Nuzzi has also been denied entrance to Trump events since November of last year. [Politico, 6/13/16]

CNN Highlights Trump’s “Alarming” Pattern Of Revoking Credentials For Outlets That Challenge Him. On the June 13 edition of CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper, Sara Murray noted that Trump’s revocation of The Washington Post’s press credentials “is a theme we've seen within this campaign, them pulling the credentials of reporters or news outlets when they're unhappy with the coverage.” Murray went on to describe the pattern as “alarming … from the perspectives of the journalists covering” the campaign. [CNN, The Lead with Jake Tapper, 6/13/16, via Media Matters]

Media Decry Trump’s “Bully” Behavior, “Repudiation” Of A Free Press

Wash. Post’s Chris Cillizza: “Barring Reporters From Public Events Because You Disagree With What They Write Is A Dangerous Precedent.” Cillizza slammed Trump’s attack against The Post, noting Trump banned his paper “not because we have the facts wrong” but “because he doesn’t like how the facts are being presented.” Cillizza labels this a “dangerous precedent” for Trump to set (emphasis added):

Donald Trump is one of two people who have a chance at being elected president Nov. 8. That is the most powerful job in the world. Period.

Given that reality, reporting on what Trump says and does is extremely important to people making an informed decision about the choice before them this fall. Same goes for Hillary Clinton, of course. The job of journalists — at The Post and everywhere else — is to give voters the fullest and most accurate picture of the two people who want to represent all of us as president.

That is a task that is, inherently, at conflict — at least at times — with the story the candidates want to tell about themselves. That tension is natural and often leads to uncomfortable relationships between the candidates and the media who cover them. Both sides push — the media for more accountability and transparency, the candidate for more "straight" reporting of what they are proposing without alleged editorializing.

It's how things work.  It's how things have always worked. The media's job isn't to simply write down whatever the candidate says and regurgitate it. The candidate's job isn't to kowtow to the media or do and say things the way he or she thinks the media wants to hear.

The problem with what Trump is doing is that he is revoking access because he disagrees with the coverage. Not because we have the facts wrong. It's because he doesn't like how the facts are being presented.

If you believe in a free press, you should also believe it's not his right to do that. Trump can complain. He can not grant interviews with The Post (or the other organizations he has banned). He can call them out in speeches as being "dishonest." But barring reporters from public events because you disagree with what they write is a dangerous precedent. 

[...]

Sure, saying one outlet is biased and banning them doesn't seem like a big deal. But if there are no referees, no objective judges to say "this is true and this isn't," then what are we left with? Each side with their own collection of "facts." And that is a very dangerous place for a democracy to be — and one we are closer to than many people realize. [The Washington Post, 6/13/16]

Wash. Post Executive Editor Martin Baron: Trump’s Decision Is “Nothing Less Than A Repudiation Of The Role Of A Free And Independent Press.” In an official statement about Trump’s decision, executive editor of The Washington Post Martin Baron excoriated Trump’s “repudiation” of the free press, and and noted that the Post “will continue to cover Donald Trump as it has all along -- honorably, honestly, accurately, energetically, and unflinchingly.”

“Donald Trump’s decision to revoke The Washington Post’s press credentials is nothing less than a repudiation of the role of a free and independent press. When coverage doesn’t correspond to what the candidate wants it to be, then a news organization is banished,” the Post’s editor Marty Barton wrote Monday afternoon. “The Post will continue to cover Donald Trump as it has all along -- honorably, honestly, accurately, energetically, and unflinchingly. We’re proud of our coverage, and we’re going to keep at it.” [Twitter.com, 6/13/16]

The Guardian’s Ben Jacobs: “Even During The Height Of Watergate, Nixon Never Banned The Washington Post From The White House.”

[Twitter.com, 6/13/16]

Jon Favreau: “Last Week, Clinton Chose To Do An Interview With Fox News, Not Her Biggest Fan. Today Trump Revoked The Washington Post’s Press Credentials”

[Twitter.com, 6/13/16]

RedState: “Trump Really Does Mean To Bully The Media If And When He Becomes President, And He Is Showing It Now As A Candidate.” RedState’s Leon H. Wolf excoriated Trump for revoking The Washington Post’s press credentials because the Post “finally shamed him into donating to veterans' groups a couple weeks ago.”

Trump, though, has a bug up his butt about the WaPo in particular, due in no small part to the fact that the Washington Post finally shamed him into donating to veterans' groups a couple weeks ago, not to mention the fact that they reported the fact that he freaked out and hung up on their reporters back in May when asked about his alter ego. Trump has started an open war with Jeff Bezos, who owns the Washington Post, and threatened to sic the Justice Department on Amazon if he becomes President.

Trump really does mean to bully the media if and when he becomes President, and he is showing it now as a candidate. [RedState, 6/13/16]

Slate: Trump’s Post Ban “Marks An Unprecedented Escalation In His War” Against Media. Slate wrote that Trump “has never been a fan of reporters who ask him tough questions (or simply dare not to take him at his word)” and is accordingly waging a “war against the political press corps covering his campaign.”

It appears as though Trump's reason for barring the entire staff of one of the nation's largest (and most storied) newspapers from his campaign events is, at least in part, a story the Post published earlier in the day, the headline of which currently reads, "Donald Trump seems to connect President Obama to Orlando shooting."

[...]

The presumptive GOP nominee has never been a fan of reporters who ask him tough questions (or simply dare not to take him at his word), but this marks an unprecedented escalation in his war with the political press corps that is covering his campaign. [Slate, 6/13/16]

The Intercept’s Dan Froomkin: “Trump Kicks WaPo Off His Campaign For Correctly Translating His Lunatic Ramblings.”

[Twitter.com, 6/13/16]

Huffington Post’s Matt Fuller: “Imagine What Republicans Would Say If Hillary Clinton Revoked The Washington Post’s Credentials.”

[Twitter.com, 6/13/16]

Andrew Kaczynski: “Trump Banned The Washington Post, But He Declined To Clarify His Comment Moments Ago.”

[Twitter.com, 6/13/16]

CNN Commentator Bakari Sellers: Trump Revoking Wash. Post’s Press Credentials “Is Fascism At Its Worst.” CNN political commentator Bakari Sellers excoriated Trump’s decision to revoke The Washington Post’s press credentials as “fascism,” saying that Trump is “professing [his] love for freedom, but not [his] love for freedom of the press.” Sellers concluded, saying, “we need someone in this country who's built to lead, and the last thing Donald Trump is built for is leadership.” From the June 14 edition of CNN’s New Day:

BAKARI SELLERS: There's a much larger point here and I don't -- I kind of hesitate when I thought about saying it, but this is fascism at its best. We've gone down the path of whether or not Donald Trump had said things that are racist or not racist. We've gone down the path of whether or not he said things that are offensive or not offensive, but this is fascism at its worst, to be completely honest with you. Banning The Washington Post, that's absurd. Just thinking about the fact that press -- and professing your love for freedom, but not your love for the freedom of the press. That's what happens when you get needled and get thin-skinned. Donald Trump even blocked me on Twitter. This is somebody running for president of the United States, and I just think that we need someone in this country who's built to lead, and the last thing Donald Trump is built for is leadership. [CNN, New Day, 6/14/16]

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