Donald Trump is blacklisting journalists. Last week I wrote about this dangerous behavior, cataloging Trump’s threats and insults. Yesterday, The Donald decided to bar The Washington Post from his campaign events after taking offense to a headline.
The White House Correspondents’ Association released a letter today supporting the media outlets that have been blacklisted.
So far, Trump has banned POLITICO, The Daily Beast, Univision, The Des Moines Register, Buzzfeed and The Huffington Post. The NAA supports these publications.
As the CEO of the Newspaper Association of America, I both understand and appreciate the role of a free press in a free society – and the fact that a free press is not always fun or pleasant.
The Founding Fathers had many, many complaints about the 18th Century press, but they also understood at a deep and fundamental level that a “managed” or “regulated” press would lead to tyranny.
To propel his own interests forward, Trump is now working hard to make the case to the public that a free press is an annoyance he – and we – can do without.
Trump’s war on media would be amusing if he were just another rich guy who wanted to manage his press coverage. But he’s not. He’s running for president, the highest elected office in the land. He wants to take the Oath of Office, vowing ” I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
His blacklist is an attack against our First Amendment right to Freedom of the Press. Donald Trump’s treatment of journalists and the press isn’t just offensive or rude or political theater. It is a danger to our Constitutional Rights.