This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, June 14, 2016:
On Facebook on Monday Donald Trump announced that had finally had enough of the Washington Post’s slanted coverage of his campaign and pulled the paper’s press credentials in retaliation:
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.
Twenty minutes earlier on Facebook Trump had said:
I am no fan of President Obama, but to show you how dishonest the phony Washington Post is, they wrote, “Donald Trump Suggests President Obama Was Involved With Orlando shooting” as their headline. Sad!
The Post changed the headline, and the lead paragraph, 90 minutes after the original article appeared, softening their claim and lending credence to Trump’s charge. The original article’s lead read:
Trump seemed to repeatedly accuse President Obama on Monday of identifying with radicalized Muslims who have carried out terrorist attacks in the United States and being complicit in the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando over the weekend, the worst the country has ever seen.
The new headline now reads, “Donald Trump Seems to Connect President Obama to Orlando Shooting” and the lead paragraph which now reads:
A day after 49 people were killed in the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, Donald Trump seemed to imply that President Barack Obama might have been connected, in some way, with the attack.
A spokesman for the Post claimed that it made the change on its own, without input from Trump or his campaign: “We changed the headline shortly after it posted to more properly reflect what Trump said. We did so on our own; the Trump campaign never contacted us about it.”
The phrase “to more properly reflect what Trump said” is the dead giveaway. Initially such concern for journalistic accuracy was buried in its haste to tarnish Trump with tie-ins to conspiracy freaks. What triggered the article was something Trump said on Fox & Friends on Monday morning: “Look, we’re led by a man [who] either is not tough, not smart, or he’s got something else in mind.… He doesn’t get it or he gets it better that anybody understands. It’s one or the other.… There’s something going on. It’s inconceivable. There’s something going on.”
Trump’s revocation of privileges now prohibits the Post’s journalists, photographers, and other staff members from getting access to press seating, traveling with the campaign, or attending media-only events, such as press conferences. However, they may attend any of Trump’s public events, just like everyone else.
Upon learning of Trump’s revocation of privileges, Marty Baron, the Post’s executive editor, responded on Twitter:
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 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.
The Post has lots of friendly company. Along with the Post, Trump has withdrawn press privileges from journalists with Gawker, BuzzFeed, Foreign Policy, Politico, Fusion, Univision, Mother Jones, the New Hampshire Union Leader, the Des Moines Register, and the Daily Beast. A quick Internet search reveals that each of these has a leftist slant that promotes the “neverTrump” meme.
As Trump’s campaign wrote, “We no longer feel compelled to work with a publication which has put its need for ‘clicks’ above journalistic integrity. They have no journalistic integrity and write falsely about Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump does not mind a bad story but it has to be honest.”
Politico editor Susan Glasser stated, “If [Trump’s] goal is to squelch independent journalism about Trump, it certainly won’t work.”
What Glasser and the Post are more likely to discover is that Trump’s campaign will gain further momentum from their pushback as more and more of the electorate become aware that the national mainstream media are not “honorable,” “honest,” or “accurate,” except when it serves their purposes.