The US Press Just Threw Down The Gauntlet Against Trump, Refuses To Be Bullied
Donald Trump has attacked the press on a number of occasions, and that includes his recent dust-up with CNN’s JIm Acosta, whom he insulted, refusing to answer his questions. Now, there’s the possibility that the Trump team may move the White House press room well away from the oval office, Reuters reports.
The press faces more of Trump’s bullying but vows to stay strong
So it should come as no surprise that members of the press are trying to establish their own parameters here. Trump’s continual brow-beating of journalists has prompted Kyle Pope, the editor-in-chief of The Columbia Journalism Review to write an open letter to the President-elect. And in the letter, Pope lets him know the press won’t be bullied, Raw Story reports.
“In these final days before your inauguration, we thought it might be helpful to clarify how we see the relationship between your administration and the American press corps,” Pope writes.
He offered some background on Trump’s contentious relationship with the media before offering up a set of ground rules (something that Trump has done numerous times with reporters) about what the press expects from him.
“You’ve banned news organizations from covering you. You’ve taken to Twitter (see below) to taunt and threaten individual reporters and encouraged your supporters to do the same. You’ve advocated for looser libel laws and threatened numerous lawsuits of your own, none of which has materialized,” Pope wrote.”You’ve avoided the press when you could and flouted the norms of pool reporting and regular press conferences. You’ve ridiculed a reporter who wrote something you didn’t like because he had a disability.”
And indeed, some of Trump’s whiny Twitter rants have been a bit…bullying:
If the press would cover me accurately & honorably, I would have far less reason to "tweet." Sadly, I don't know if that will ever happen!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 5, 2016
Just had a very open and successful presidential election. Now professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 11, 2016
Prior to the election it was well known that I have interests in properties all over the world.Only the crooked media makes this a big deal!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2016
Trump has bullied women, African-Americans, the press — and even electoral college delegates. It’s how he conducts business, after all. It’s the nature of who he is. And after he becomes president, there will be more of that going around. But journalists are going to hang tough, and lay down their own rules.
Pope gives Trump his due, then notes:
“But while you have every right to decide your ground rules for engaging with the press, we have some too.”
And even though the President-elect may not allow journalists to have access to him, that will be just fine, Pope argued.
“We are very good at finding alternative ways to get information … Telling reporters that they won’t get access to something isn’t what we’d prefer, but it’s a challenge we relish.”
He also told Trump to expect that journalists will begin working together.
“We now recognize that the challenge of covering you requires that we cooperate and help one another whenever possible,” he said, referring to last week’s kerfuffle between Trump and CNN’s Acosta.
“So when you shout down or ignore a reporter at a press conference who has said something you don’t like, you’re going to face a unified front,” Pope wrote. “We’ll work together on stories when it makes sense, and make sure the world hears when our colleagues write stories of importance.”
And the well-respected publisher also argued that journalists aren’t going to play by Trump’s rules. We simply won’t be bullied.
“We’ve been around since the founding of the republic, and our role in this great democracy has been ratified and reinforced again and again and again,” he wrote. “Enjoy your inauguration.
Perhaps, just for once, Trump will feel “pummeled.” Like so many of the people he has bullied. And many journalists would applaud that.