As outlet after outlet trip over themselves to report on President Trump's latest missteps or gaffes, one editor in chief is urging his employees to practice caution when covering the president. The Wall Street Journal's Gerard Baker is not pleased with his employees' coverage of Trump's recent rallies and speeches.
In a late night email, a copy of which was reviewed by The New York Times, Baker laid out his expectations with his staff. In particular, he was dismayed by coverage of Trump's rally in Phoenix, AZ this week. In an early draft of the piece, editors wrote that his speech was “an off-script return to campaign form."
“Sorry. This is commentary dressed up as news reporting,” Mr. Baker wrote at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday morning to a group of Journal reporters and editors, in response to a draft of the rally article that was intended for the newspaper’s final edition.
He added in a follow-up, “Could we please just stick to reporting what he said rather than packaging it in exegesis and selective criticism?”
The Times followed up with WSJ, and a spokesman reiterated Baker's wishes.
“The Wall Street Journal has a clear separation between news and opinion," the spokesman said. "As always, the key priority is to focus reporting on facts and avoid opinion seeping into news coverage.”
Baker and the WSJ have faced scrutiny for supposedly being too "soft" on the president.
No, Baker said. They're simply refusing to use any opportunity trash the 45th president.
Outlets like CNN would be wise to take note. Instead of reporting in a neutral, journalistic manner, the network has obsessed over Russia, seemingly hoping it will derail Trump's presidency, and has added editorialized chyrons to its television coverage that are intended to mock the president.