Donald Trump's butt-hurt, thin-skinned response to the Washington Post's basic, journalistic skepticism about his Obama-conspires-with-terrorists was to yank the paper's media credentials, adding them to the growing pool of media that is barred from Trump events, which includes "Politico, Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, Gawker, Foreign Policy, Fusion, Univision, Mother Jones, the New Hampshire Union Leader, the Des Moines Register and the Daily Beast" -- as well as any previously accredited news outlet that Trump doesn't feel like admitting on any given day.
In response, the Post is calling for a two-pronged response to the Trump campaign's "repudiation of the role of a free and independent press": the press should stop attending his events altogether and bar him from TV and radio phone-ins. Instead, they should engage in "rigorous use of real-time fact-checking, pointing out Trump’s falsehoods in the stories in which they’re reported."
More significantly (and more plausibly), the Post calls on the RNC to take press credentialling out of the Trump campaign's hands and admit any legit journalist to this summer's convention, which is bound to be a humdinger.
● No more live, wall-to-wall coverage of Trump’s rallies and events; this sort of “coverage,” particularly by cable news outlets, has been a huge in-kind contribution to Trump.
● No more Trump call-ins to TV shows; this enables him to plant falsehoods with little risk of follow-up.
● Rigorous use of real-time fact-checking, pointing out Trump’s falsehoods in the stories in which they’re reported. That’s not injecting opinion — it’s stating fact.
Beyond that, news organizations should demand that the Republican National Committee, at next month’s convention, reinstate and credential all media outlets that Trump has banned. Does the RNC want to join Trump in opposing a free press?
The right response to Donald Trump? A media blackout.
[Dana Milbank/Washington Post]
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