Dear MoveOn member,
At Donald Trump's first press conference as president-elect, he berated and blacklisted CNN reporter Jim Acosta for daring to ask questions in reference to CNN's bombshell reporting on Trump's relationship with Russia. The incoming White House press secretary threatened to throw Acosta out for daring to do his job and ask questions, and another Trump adviser verbally attacked him, too.1
You would expect that the press would be outraged at such behavior from the administration. But you would be wrong. The press acted like none of this happened.2 They ignored that their colleague was being punished and shut out right in the middle of the press conference and continued engaging with Trump as if nothing out of the ordinary was going on.
Trump has a history of doing this to the press—and worse.
He banned The Des Moines Register from covering his events. He banned Univision from attending his events. He revoked The Washington Post's credentials for a length of time in retaliation for a headline that he didn't like. He revoked Politico's credentials for a while to punish them for an article that he didn't like.3 BuzzFeed—which Trump called a "failing pile of garbage" during the press conference—has been on a blacklist since June of 2015.4 The Daily Beast is on the blacklist and is almost always denied credentials as a result.5 And this list isn't exhaustive.
But journalists covering Trump don't learn. Time and time again—as one outlet after another is frozen out—reporters continue to go about their interactions with Trump and his people as if nothing is wrong.
Enough is enough. Some principles are more important than competition among news outlets.
If a free press has any hope of surviving the next four years, we need the journalists covering Trump to pledge: If Trump blacklists one of you, the rest of you need to stand up.
Tell the White House press corps: If you see Trump blacklisting a reporter or a media outlet, speak up and fight back. If not, you could be next.
—Angelo Carusone, Media Matters
1. "Acosta: Trump spokesman threatened to expel me," CNN, January 11, 2017
2. "Trump Just Shot Jim Acosta In The Middle Of Fifth Avenue And The Press Didn't Blink," Media Matters, January 11, 2017
3. "'The Blacklist': Here are the media outlets banned by Donald Trump," CNN, June 14, 2015
4. "Furious Trump torches BuzzFeed: It's a 'failing pile of garbage,'" Business Insider, January 11, 2016
5. "'The Blacklist': Here are the media outlets banned by Donald Trump," CNN, June 14, 2015
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