Trump Revokes Washington Post Press Credentials

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On June 12, a gunman in Orlando, Florida murdered 49 people at a gay nightclub. In response to this attack, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump seemed to fuel the fires of conspiracy during a “Fox & Friends” appearance, alluding to a greater plot involving President Obama.

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 doesn’t get it or he gets it better than anybody understands — it’s one or the other, and either one is unacceptable.

The Washington Post ran a story on Trump’s comment with the headline “Donald Trump seems to connect President Obama to Orlando shooting.” Even though Trump may have stopped short of actually saying “Obama played a purposeful role in the Orlando shooting,” there’s no question that he drew a connection, which allowed listeners to speculate.

Trump has to know the effects of his comments, and the media firestorm he can set off with the shortest sound bite. Playing coy–suggesting something insane, only to recoil when he is accused of the suggestion–is an all too common ploy for Trump.

Just think back to when he claimed Judge Gonzalo Curiel couldn’t fairly rule on Trump University cases because of his heritage, only to insist that there is nothing racist about his statement. Or just a few weeks ago, when he accused Hillary Clinton of playing “the woman card,” then fiercely denied that the statement was sexist.

This pattern allows him to feed the narrative that the media is corrupt and set against him. That is why Trump revoked the Post’s press credentials, detailing his reasons in a Facebook post:

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! 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.

Washington Post Executive Editor Marty Baron made a statement in reaction to this revocation:

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, said in a statement. 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.

Compare this behavior with Hillary Clinton’s notorious caution towards the press–such as when she drew criticism for “corralling” the press behind a rope so that they didn’t crowd her during public appearances. Trump’s distrust of the media goes even further, as he has thrown out reporters from his events.

Clearly, the Post won’t be quiet about Trump’s campaign, although it may now be harder to get a scoop as quickly as other outlets.

Sean Simon
Sean Simon is an Editorial News Senior Fellow at Law Street, and a senior at The George Washington University, studying Communications and Psychology. In his spare time, he loves exploring D.C. restaurants, solving crossword puzzles, and watching sad foreign films. Contact Sean at SSimon@LawStreetMedia.com.



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