By now, there’s no level of crass, contemptuous shitbaggery that should be surprising coming from prominent golem Donald Trump, a man who once withheld medication from his sick baby nephew. But the way he handles the political press—a group of people who are normally thought of as useful fixtures, or even just fixtures, to a presidential candidate during his campaign—somehow continues to amaze me, even months after he mocked a disabled reporter and said there was “blood coming out of [Megyn Kelly’s] wherever.”
For one, he bullpens the press so hard that they can’t even talk to the crowd. From a recent Ryan Lizza piece at the New Yorker:
At Trump events, the press is confined to a section that is surrounded by metal barriers, preventing journalists from mingling with the crowd. To avoid that, I waited in line for almost three hours with Trump supporters. Popular buttons and stickers included ones that say, “If she can’t please her husband, she can’t please the country,” “Bomb the hell out of ISIS,” “Up Yours Hillary,” and “Trump That Bitch.” A middle-aged man in front of me joked to his friend, “If they turn the entire Middle East into a parking lot, are we still going to have to take our shoes off at the airport?”
And now, the Washington Post has collected reporters’ experiences while covering Trump, who, of course, draws crowds that in themselves should warrant hazard pay. For example:
Sopan Deb, a videographer and digital journalist for CBS News, tweeted that he was asked by a Trump supporter “if I was taking pictures for ISIS” as he recorded a rally in Reno, Nev. last month. When Deb, who is of South Asian heritage, looked surprised at the question, the man said, “Yeah, I’m talking to you,” and repeated the accusation multiple times.
Trump himself banned reporters from the Des Moines Register after their editorial board called for him to drop out of the race; he yelled at NBC’s Peter Alexander to “apologize for not reading my words” repeatedly; and, of course, he’s got some choice words for women.
The list of female journalists and commentators who’ve been verbally roughed up by Trump include Associated Press reporter Jill Colvin (“one of the truly bad reporters”); New York Times reporters Amy Chozick and Maggie Haberman (“third-rate reporters”); CNN pundits S.E. Cupp and Ana Navarro (“two of the dumbest people in politics”); Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington (“liberal clown”); Forbes writer Clare O’Connor (“dummy”); MSNBC reporter Kasie Hunt (“poor and purposely inaccurate reporting”); CNN host Alisyn Camerota (“disaster”); Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin (“one of the dumber bloggers”); NPR’s Cokie Roberts (“kooky”); NBC News reporter Katy Tur (“Dishonest!”); and CNN reporter Sara Murray (“absolutely terrible”).
“No leading presidential candidate — perhaps ever — has been as dismissive, belittling or as downright hostile to the people who follow him on the campaign trail as Trump,” writes Paul Farhi.
Trump continues to lead the race in polling, but is currently beating Cruz by just four points.
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