Trump Adds Washington Post to Media Blacklist

Megan Maxey
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Posted: Jun 15, 2016 4:00 PM
Trump Adds Washington Post to Media Blacklist

Presidential candidate Donald Trump has added the Washington Post to the growing list of news organizations banned from his campaign events.

The media is calling this list "Trump's Blacklist." The Blacklist includes the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, Politico, the Daily Beast, Univision, the Des Moines Register, Buzzfeed, the New Hampshire Union Leader and so on.

"Based on the incredibly inaccurate coverage and reporting of the record setting Trump campaign, we are hereby revoking the press credentials of the phony and dishonest Washington Post," Trump said in a Facebook post published on June 13.

The ban stemmed from a headline from the Post that read, "Donald Trump Suggests President Obama Was Involved With Orlando Shooting" following Trump's Monday speech on Fox News.

The story referred to a quote from the presumptive Republican presidential nominee stating, "Look, we're led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he's got something else in mind."

Later the Post changed the headline to "Donald Trump seems to connect President Obama to Orlando shooting."

Trump has never been a fan of the media. Before calling the Post "dishonest and phony" Trump constantly criticized The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and countless other media outlets as untrustworthy and unfair. 

The ban denies all reporters of the publication access to press credentials. Journalists are still allowed into events as members of the general public. However, Politico reporter Ben Schreckinger was personally escorted out of a campaign event last week while trying to report from the crowd.

"Donald Trump’s decision to revoke the Washington Post’s press credentials is nothing less than a repudiation of the role of a free and independent press," said executive editor of the Washington Post Marty Baron. "When coverage doesn’t correspond to what the candidate wants it to be, then a news organization is banished. The Post will continue to cover Donald Trump as it has all along — honorably, honestly, accurately, energetically and unflinchingly. We’re proud of our coverage, and we’re going to keep at it.”

Many are specifically concerned about this trend continuing in the White House if Trump is elected. Yet, the candidate told The New York Times on Tuesday that he would not impose similar bans during his presidency. He stated, "That's different from me taking something away. There I am taking something away where I am representing the nation."

Despite this promise, Trump did say he was going to make some changes to libel laws if elected. "One of the things I'm going to do if I win, and I hope we do and we're certainly leading. I'm going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money," said the candidate at a Texas rally in Feb. 2016 according to The Committee to Protect Journalists.

Members of the media community are outraged by the candidate's unprecedented actions that have unfolded over the past year.

Looking back at past candidates and presidents, no one has gone to the lengths Trump has in blocking media access. While it is common for those in the political limelight to refuse interviews or refrain from providing comments, completely taking away a publication's credentials is not.

Trump's actions worry First Amendment activists who hold the freedom of the press as an essential part the U.S. political process. If a precedent is set, this could mean bad things for not only journalists, but the entire nation.