Tuesday 11/1 - Jim Rutenberg - New York Times - Threats against reporters covering Donald Trump

Tuesday 11/1
Jim Rutenberg
New York Times
Threats against reporters covering Donald Trump

Why have 2 brand-name news agencies provided private security for their reporters covering Donald Trump? And why did media coverage of Trump change after it was clear he had a real chance to win the Presidency?  NY Times media columnist Jim Rutenberg answers those questions and more.

“There’s been an escalation in the rhetoric about the press, that there’s a vast conspiracy, and it’s something the crowd has absorbed,” Ben Schreckinger, a reporter for Politico told the Washington Post’s Paul Farhi not long ago. “It seems to have made the crowds more aggressive and angry.”  Schreckinger had returned to the Trump campaign press pool after having been booted out in June.  The new scene in the press pen had changed for the worse. “In the past,” he told Farhi, “when Trump incited the crowd against the press, you could see people smiling and laughing as they were booing. It was like the mood of a crowd at a ballpark. Now the smiles have disappeared.”

It wasn’t just Politico’s Schreckinger who got booted off the Trump bus.  Reports the Economist: “Mr. Trump has banned Buzzfeed, the Des Moines Register, and the Washington Post (among other outlets) from covering his campaign events. He regularly turns to Twitter,” the Economist continues, “to belittle the “failing” New York Times or “phony” Washington Post. He has said the Wall Street Journal is ”ridiculous”. While some members of the media are “terrific”, he said in December, others are “sleaze” and “70%, 75%” are “absolute dishonest, absolute scum.”

And beyond personalities, here’s Trump on the First Amendment:

“It is not ‘freedom of the press’ when newspapers and others are allowed to say and write whatever they want even if it is completely false!” When he’s President, he’s said, he will “open up those libel laws.”

This has driven The Committee to Protect Journalists (a group I helped found was once Chaired) to call Trump presidency an “unprecedented threat to the rights of journalists.”

But have the news media brought this all down on themselves, but ignoring the people who are now Trump supporters, by giving Trump a free ride in coverage for the first 6 months of his campaign, and an unending horse-whipping since he threatened to win the Presidency?



Jim Rutenberg is Media Columnist and former political for The New York Times, for whom he writes The Mediator, which has been concentrating on the media coverage of the Presidential campaign



















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