25 August 2015
A candidate kicks out a reporter; what will the media do?
No wonder Donald Trump is polling well. He seems to be the primary topic on CNN every evening, and while reporters may say they're paying attention because of the poll numbers I would add that his numbers probably remain high because of all the attention he gets from the media. I wonder if this will change following Trump's latest escapade. He kicked a news anchor for the Univision network, the most popular Spanish-language channel in the country, out of a news conference tonight. To be fair, the Univision reporter apparently tried to ask questions out of turn, and Trump did later allow him back in to ask his questions, but this couldn't look good to the rest of the media. There are ways to rebuke a reporter who speaks out of turn, and reasons to do so, above all his or her disrespect to fellow professionals, but throwing one out, especially one reputed to be the most influential Spanish-language reporter on TV, made it look, at least temporarily, as if Trump wasn't so much concerned with other reporters but simply didn't want to hear his questions. While this may be interpreted as part of Trump's grudge with Hispanics, could other reporters see this as a preview of how Nominee or President Trump might treat them if he decides he doesn't like them? Will they begin to treat him as something besides the ratings bonanza they apparently perceive him to be? After all, this is a man who intends to interpret the Fourteenth Amendment to suit himself, regardless of precedents. Why wouldn't he also interpret the First Amendment the same way, for the same reasons? Maybe he'd think differently if the media carried out a one-day-or-more boycott of his campaign to protest his treatment of a fellow journalist. But who am I kidding? His stunt today is just the sort of wild act reporters hope to see by following him so closely and thoroughly. Reporters are a competitive lot, and when they see one of their own treated a little roughly, you have to wonder whether they see a threat or they simply see news.