Fourth Estate Again Mistreated By Donald Trump
I get the fact some readers will not understand the gravity of the concerns raised in this post. But on Tuesday night Donald Trump broke with protocol by leaving his Trump Tower residence without taking along his press contingent. As the winner of the election that is just not an appropriate way to deal with the role he now has and the reporters whose job it is to keep abreast of him for the citizenry.
Trump was spotted at the 21 Club in New York, where the block was shut down and only a small group of reporters were allowed to stand outside the restaurant. Trump’s spokesperson Hope Hicks confirmed he was at the former Prohibition-era speakeasy, but said she “wasn’t aware of his movement” and she would never do anything to “leave the press in the dark.” But many are not buying her story.
As a photo of Trump at the steakhouse spread on social media, the press pool said they had no information about the president-elect’s whereabouts. They had been told earlier in the day Trump would be not making any movements, but around 7:30 p.m., a couple of reporters leaving Trump Tower noticed a motorcade of at least a dozen vehicles and an ambulance.
Trump hadn’t made a public appearance since he visited the White House on Thursday. It is believed he has spent every day since then hunkered down in Trump Tower, holding meetings, speaking on the phone and hosting guests. A “protective pool” has not yet been set up for Trump, and once one is, Hicks told a pool reporter that reporters will have “all of the access that they have ever had under any president.”
The reason the press pool is essential is to be available to record events happening–be it in how governing takes place or some historic event such as an assai nation attempt. The reason President Reagan’s assignation attempt was so well filmed was due tot he pool who accompanied him to the hotel for the afternoon speech prior to the shots being fired. That is part of the job when covering a president.
This is not the first time Trump has left the press behind.
On his first trip to Washington, DC after getting elected, he and his aides didn’t allow press to travel with them, bucking tradition.
“This White House Correspondents’ Association is deeply concerned by President-elect Donald Trump’s decision to reject the practice of traveling with a ‘protective pool’ of reporters for his first visit to Washington since the election,” said White House Correspondents’ Association President Jeff Mason said in a statement. “In addition to breaking with decades of historical precedent and First Amendment principles, this decision could leave Americans blind about his whereabouts and well-being in the event of a national crisis.”