Trump sought to use yesterday’s press conference to conflate the two stories and employ them to shatter the credibility of the news outlets that published them. The result was a horrifying day for press freedom. Trump will be sworn in as president in eight days. Things can still get much, much worse.
Still, journalists get squeamish at the notion of being activists for anything, for obvious reasons. But that’s what we need to be now. We must let our readers and viewers know how we do what we do and why it matters. It’s clear that the angriest of Trump supporters feel emboldened by his election and his behavior ever since.
Over and over we’re seeing this discouraging and potentially dangerous pattern unfold: At a time when Trump and his team are ratcheting up their attempts to discredit the media, and as they stand poised to choke off all meaningful access for journalists, too many news organizations are responding with timidity and accommodation.
Democracy cannot thrive without journalists who hold accountable those elected to protect it. Let’s invest in the future of journalism, while we still can.
Some of the criticism about the media is certainly deserved. Sometimes, news media are too timid. Too obsessed with ephemera. And, yes, biased.
CNN’s decision to continue employing Corey Lewandowski, who is being simultaneously paid by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign, clashes with its own years-long stated policies. The network has previously said that a person being “paid” by a campaign “would not be permitted to be a CNN contributor.”
Like cigarette smokers who have admitted they have a nicotine problem but can’t stop puffing, can journalists who have already admitted they use a weaker standard to score Republican nominee Donald Trump make a clean break while grading the Republican’s debate performance next week?
It was another master class in how to win free airtime. Trump basically acknowledged the ploy, telling Fox News host Maria Bartiromo, “We have to—we have to keep the suspense going, OK?”
The Trump campaign released a lie-filled statement that sought to put to rest criticism of Donald Trump for building his political image on racist, conspiratorial claims that President Obama was not born in the United States.
Cable news networks spent less than an hour in total on September 12 discussing a new investigative report about how Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump retooled his charitable foundation to “spend other people’s money.” By contrast, they devoted more than 13 and a half hours of their airtime that day to covering Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s health.
Populism — a luminous term denoting both an uplifting doctrine of egalitarianism and a political-economic-cultural movement with deep roots in America’s progressive history — has been routinely sullied throughout 2016 by elites misusing it as synonym for ignorance and bigotry.
Conceding that recent news reports hadn’t proven any actual wrongdoing or lawbreaking with the foundation and its connection the State Department when Clinton was secretary of state, editorials from Washington Post, Boston Globe, and USA Today, among others, were nonetheless adamant: Shut it down.
Here’s your presidential election coverage in a nutshell. Last week Donald Trump delivered his big immigration speech in Phoenix, uttering this inflammatory claim: “Hillary Clinton has pledged amnesty in her first 100 days, and her plan will provide Obamacare, Social Security and Medicare for illegal immigrants, breaking the federal budget.”
Back in 1992, Democratic strategist James Carville uttered his famous recommendation Bill Clinton ahead of the 1992 election: “It’s the economy, stupid!” Political scientists beat Carville to the punch, though: As far back as the 1950’s, scholars were uncovering evidence that presidential candidates of the incumbent party tend to win when the economy is strong on Election Day.
Journalists from NBC, ABC, CNN and Fox News will moderate the three scheduled debates between U.S. presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump ahead of the Nov. 8 election, the nonpartisan group organizing the events said on Friday.
Critics were right Wednesday in blasting CNN commentators for describing Republican Donald Trump as presidential. He had given remarks beside Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. As the Washington Posts’s Greg Sargent predicted, he didn’t vomit. He didn’t urinate. So … he’s presidential!
Joining a long list of concerned media voices, The New York Times’ editorial page this week linked up with the Beltway chorus to express alarm over the Clinton Foundation and the “question” it presents for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
The Washington Post yesterday reported that on three occasions Clinton’s top aide Huma Abedin was contacted by donors to the Clinton Foundation asking for favors. The outcome of one was a meeting. The outcome of the others was nothing. That’s it.
Breitbart News has relentlessly defended Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric and problematic statements, from commending Trump for “changing the debate on illegal immigration” with his statement that Mexican immigrants are “rapists” to defending Corey Lewandowski over Breitbart News’ own reporter, Michelle Fields.
Recall that Whitewater, the-hard-to-follow pseudo-scandal sponsored by The New York Times in the 1990s, dragged on so long that it became hard to recall what the Clintons’ alleged original sin was. (Losing money on a real estate deal is against the law?)
On Saturday, the New York Times published an article detailing failed efforts to make Trump focus his campaign on the general election. “These are the most dishonest people,” Trump said. “Maybe we’ll start thinking about taking their press credentials away from them.”
Fox News figures are helping rationalize Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s threat that the 2016 presidential debates must have “fair” moderators or he won’t participate, pointing to Candy Crowley’s 2012 debate moderation in which she fact-checked Republican candidate Mitt Romney as an “unacceptable” example.
A week ago, reporters were writing about whether Trump’s invitation to Russian President Vladimir Putin to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails was treasonous or otherwise illegal. That was bad enough. But now this. As Ezra Klein pointed out in a Vox column and video last week, there are no words to describe this kind of behavior. “Abnormal” doesn’t do it justice. Nor does “monstrous.”
Is it possible that in recent days and weeks, Trump’s campaign has become such an inferno of incompetence that it’s just not possible for the press to look at the GOP campaign wreckage on display and suggest Democrats are facing a similar type of blaze; that both sides are in disarray?