As if we needed more proof that Donald Trump has no interest in anything less than fawning coverage, he announced on Monday night that The Washington Post will no longer be allowed to cover his campaign’s events.
The Donald issued this fatwa on Facebook.
Apparently Trump was displeased by the Post’s article on his suggestions that President Obama was somehow complicit in Saturday night’s bloodbath in Orlando. It was based on an interview on “Fox & Friends” on Monday morning, in which he said this:
“Look, we’re led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he’s got something else in mind. And the something else in mind — you know, people can’t believe it. People cannot, they cannot believe that President Obama is acting the way he acts and can’t even mention the words ‘radical Islamic terrorism.’ There’s something going on. It’s inconceivable. There’s something going on.”
He went further in an interview on NBC’s “Today.” Watch here.
When Savannah Guthrie asked Trump to clarify his remarks to the gang on the curvy couch, Trump replied that there are a lot of people who think Obama “doesn’t want to get it” and “doesn’t want to know about it.”
That led The Post to initially headline its piece as “Donald Trump suggests President Obama was involved with Orlando shooting.” Shortly after the article went live, The Post toned the headline down–without any prompting from the Donald–to “Donald Trump seems to connect President Obama to Orlando shooting.” According to The Post, the new headline more accurately reflects what Trump said on Fox. That wasn’t good enough for Trump, who declared that he “no longer felt compelled to work with an organization that puts ‘clicks’ above journalistic integrity.”
The Post isn’t taking this lying down. In a blistering response, executive editor Marty Baron rightly denounced this as an attack on the First Amendment.
— Marty Baron (@PostBaron) June 13, 2016
The Post’s Chris Cillizza joined in, saying that Trump doesn’t know or doesn’t understand that the press’ job is to “give voters the fullest and most accurate picture” of presidential candidates”–even if it doesn’t jibe with “he story the candidates want to tell about themselves.” Cillizza rightly believes that when Trump refuses to let outlets cover him when they don’t tell the story he wants, he is “setting a dangerous precedent.”
Trump has barred several other outlets from covering him–such as BuzzFeed, Politico, The Daily Beast, Univision, and The Huffington Post. Indeed, HuffPo tweeted its sympathy.
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) June 13, 2016
He’s also vowed to amend the libel laws and make it easier to sue the media. But barring the major newspaper in the Washington area, and one of this country’s newspapers of record, from a major party campaign should send a chill down everyone’s spine.
This move is also politically stupid on Trump’s part as well. Remember, folks, Northern Virginia is part of the Washington market. Much of that area is either sapphire blue or bluish-purple. This latest thin-skinned move isn’t going to play well in the more swingy areas of Northern Virginia.
Trump is running on a promise to change Washington. But with this latest move, it sounds like he’d fit right in.