It’s been a bad year for the press. At every Trump rally, he bashes them, something Republicans are wont to do already. But at Trump rallies, this often turns into spittle-flecked rage fits at the reporters on site. And that’s just the Republican side. Hillary barely acknowledges the press, not only abandoning the notion of press conferences, but dodging questions repeatedly, often by way of offering food. And don’t forget how she pens them in.
But today is another low, this time again set by Donald.
Trump is setting a distressing precedent today. He's traveling to Mexico. His traveling press has not been invited along. We're in Phoenix.
— Jill Colvin (@colvinj) August 31, 2016
What precedent? If you have to ask, I’m shaking my head at you. This is not materially much different from Hillary dodging the press. It’s the same principle.
He’s failing to bring them along on his first tête-à-tête with a foreign leader. And not just any leader, but Mexico’s President, the nation that he has the worst relationship with, the one he threatens with huge construction bills and says is not our friend. The nation at the center of his immigration position, which is the center of his campaign, which is the center of attention today on the day of what may be his most important speech to date.
Trump first intl trip, to Scotland, for his golf course opening: press taken. First intl trip to meet w/ foreign leader: left behind
— Noah Gray CNN (@NoahGrayCNN) August 31, 2016
Trump could bring them, he just didn’t. It’s not a logistical problem. He has a charter for his traveling press corps, but it was directed to Phoenix.
Trump loves the press. Yes, I know he says he hates the press, but he loves getting press. It’s what he does. He alternates between bashing them for not covering him enough, and bragging about how much coverage he gets. And he brings them everywhere. They follow him everywhere. Why not Mexico?
As I said this morning, good message discipline would be to withhold comment on the meeting in Mexico until his speech tonight. Maybe he can’t trust himself to restrain himself if they are there. And he’s certainly under no monetary obligations. The networks can afford to charter flights. His campaign manager has indicated there will be a press availability just after the meeting. But still … why would he leave them? Send them elsewhere? Why wouldn’t he want the press? Why would he pull a Hillary?
Maybe he just doesn’t want his press corps reporting in real time on a hugely negative reception or protest where he lands? Ya think?
I would say ask Hillary what she thinks is the reason, but again, she doesn’t take questions.
Like I said, it’s not a great year for the press. I mean, you do have to admit, they kind of had it coming. They’ve been dishonest, pompous, manipulative and ideologically biased for a long time. It’s hard not to smile a bit when they get shafted. But in principle, politicians being answerable to the press, and therefore the people, is of course more important.