A little earlier I posted on the epic, legendary way in which Donald Trump completely abused the press at his Washington, DC, press conference. That was the main event in his 2016-Humiliate-the-Media Tour but the warm up act happened yesterday.
(Trump takes the stage at about 23:00)
Yesterday, Donald Trump held a rally in Laconia, NH. Trump does not allow the press to travel on his plane (a wise move as nothing good has ever come of having the press pool in close and constant contact with a candidate), they travel on a separate plane also managed by the Trump campaign.
Donald Trump on Thursday mocked his traveling press corps for being late to his rally, even though his campaign is responsible for arranging the pool’s travel.
“I have really good news for you,” the Republican nominee told supporters here, according to a livestream of the rally this and other pool reporters watched on a bus from the airport to the event location.
“I just heard the press is stuck on their airplane. They can’t get here. I love it. So they’re trying to get here now. They’re going to be about 30 minutes late. They called us and said could you wait? I said absolutely not. Let’s get going, New Hampshire.”
While television cameras continued to roll live on the rally, still photographers already at the venue opted not to shoot any images of the event out of solidarity with their pool colleagues.
“This is completely ridiculous and unacceptable. This has gone on for way to long and it’s time we take a stand,” said one member of the traveling press.
“The press corps is at a boiling point here and was more frustrated tonight than ever,” said another.
“There’s the want to do something among traveling press of course – being constantly mocked and demonized is awful – but there’s the competing feeling that news organizations have almost let too much slide to have any bargaining power at this point,” said a third member of Trump’s traveling press corps.
The reporters said they had yet to receive an explanation or response as to why they were left behind. Spokespeople for the campaign did not immediately return a request for comment.
What happened is pretty obvious. Trump, or someone on his campaign, decided to screw with the press pool and make them look stupid. Mission accomplished.
If you put the two events together you see a pattern forming:
The media being made look ridiculous hurts their credibility.
Because everyone knows they’ve been made to look foolish, negative reports on Trump have an odor of payback and are more easily discounted.
The reporters who were not at the press conference in DC today are laughing at those who were there so solidarity is gone.
The media, who created Trump, need access to him in order to maintain their revenue stream. They were put on notice that unless they start pulling punches their access will be limited and they will be made to look even more ridiculous in the future.