Journalists Are Not Happy About Donald Trump’s “Ban” On The Washington Post Covering His Campaign
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has a long history of being at odds with the press. (This might be one reason he allegedly decided to pose as his own publicist to deal with inquisitive journalists head on a few decades ago.) He’s consistently called New York Times reporters liars, ejected reporters from his rallies or confined them to small pens, and even condescendingly mocked a disabled reporter back in November. And his tense relationship with the media for consistently calling him out on his inaccurate and misleading claims and general bigotry reared its ugly head yet again when, on Monday, Trump sweepingly banned The Washington Post from covering his campaign in an angry Facebook post.
“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,” Trump wrote, although he failed to name a single way his campaign will actually implement this ban, or provide substantive reasoning for this decision beyond his characterization of the outlet as “phony.” (Friendly reminder this is the same man who has regularly cited different birther conspiracy theories about President Obama and may or may not be close friends with The National Enquirer’s CEO.) It’s likely Trump decided to ban The Post in light of its deservedly harsh portrayal of his response to Sunday’s Orlando shooting.
Trump has previously “banned” other news outlets from covering his campaign, denying press credentials to outlets like Buzzfeed, the Huffington Post, The Des Moines Register, Univision, National Review, and Mother Jones, according to Mother Jones.
And when journalists are allowed to come to Trump’s events, his campaign notoriously confines them to cramped pens like barn animals, where their ability to do their jobs is severely limited. He also often calls reporters “disgusting” and “horrible people.”
Since, journalists from a variety of news outlets have responded to what is arguably one of Trumps craziest decisions yet. Here’s just a few of their responses:
1. Marty Baron, Executive Editor Of The Washington Post
2. Steve Inskeep Of NPR
3. Jason Holder, Formerly With ABC
4. Jeff Roberts Of Fortune
5. Karen Attiah, Deputy Digital Editor Of The Washington Post
6. Dana Schwartz Of Observer
And here are some tweets from Twitter users who might not be journalists, but sure nailed the situation on the head anyway.
On Credible Sources
On His “Wittle Feewings”
On His Flaws
On Needing A Bottle And Binky
On Doing Your Job
Let’s be real here: covering Trump’s campaign can sometimes be all kinds of depressing. It’s frankly sad to research and write about the mind-blowing success a man so bigoted and undeserving has been met with, so, hey, maybe this ban is a blessing in disguise?
In all seriousness, it’s well within The Washington Post and any news entity’s rights to cover actual things Trump says and does, and to investigate whether or not there’s any grain of truth in his often racist, sexist, and all-around intolerant claims. While I strongly doubt any of his delusional supporters will actually read or be dissuaded by these reports, the general public has the right to know the facts and judge for themselves.
It’s scary to think that a man so close to the presidency could so unabashedly favor such blatant censorship, and it’s also scary how cognizant Trump is of the fact that the truth does not make him look good. And altogether, it’s pretty ironic that a man who has so consistently fought against “political correctness” and portrayed common courtesy as the literal apocalypse, is so threatened by news entities not handling him with kid gloves.
Let’s not forget, just a couple months ago, he was reeling at protesters’ violation of his “freedom of speech” when his Chicago rally was shut down. (To clarify, his first amendment rights would only have been violated if the government had forced him to shut down his rally.) And at the end of the day, let’s make one thing clear: The Washington Post doesn’t owe him kindness and flattering portrayals if he’s going to keep saying and doing awful things like this.