×

As President Bullies Press, Resilient Journalists Refuse to Back Down (Opinion)

I have to be really honest with you.

As passionate and driven a journalist as I am, if given the assignment to cover Trump and his whacked-out administration, I absolutely couldn’t do it. I’m too angry about how incompetently our great country is being run and how our mealymouthed president has the audacity to characterize the press corps as “the enemy of the American people.”

Nope, I could not be objective in reporting on the absurd reality show playing out in the Trump presidency, and impartiality is what our profession demands. If Trump dared to attack me or any outlet I was representing as “fake news,” I would, well … lose it.

I’ve never taken well to being bullied. Just ask any of the industry’s biggest offenders, like Harvey Weinstein. I fight back. That’s not to say that the exceptional reporters covering the White House would ever allow themselves to be pushed around by this president.

There is no collection of comrades for whom I have more respect than the correspondents whose unenviable job it is to report on the absolute lunacy of a thin-skinned, Twitter-crazed president who acts like a five-year-old throwing sand in the eyes of the press and other individuals — including those in his own administration.

For this week’s magazine, our D.C.-based political editor, Ted Johnson, interviewed a number of intrepid reporters, including Jim Acosta, CNN’s chief White House correspondent; April Ryan, CNN contributor and longtime reporter for American Urban Radio Networks; and Ashley Parker, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The Washington Post, to give their insights into being in the trenches.

The three concur: Never in the history of the presidency have the tensions between the press corps and the White House been more contentious or more fraught.

“There is that natural tension that exists between the press and the people we’re covering, but it was never like this,” says Acosta. “We are all trying to make sense of and figure out: How do you cover the news in this kind of toxic environment?”

I stand in awe of the Acostas, Ryans and Parkers of the world, who are carrying the torch for journalists like me who could not possibly do their job.

More Politics

  • Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke

    Ryan Zinke to Resign as Interior Secretary

    WASHINGTON — Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke will step down at the end of the year, amid a series of investigations that include conflict of interest. “Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke will be leaving the Administration at the end of the year after having served for a period of almost two years. Ryan [...]

  • Department of Justice

    DOJ: Gray TV-Raycom Media Merger Can Move Forward if Overlapping Stations Are Sold

    WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has given the go ahead to Gray Television’s $3.6 billion merger with Raycom Media on the condition that stations be sold in nine markets. The DOJ’s Antitrust Division said it had reached a settlement in which Gray would sell stations in the markets where they would otherwise own two or [...]

  • Mick Mulvaney Chief of Staff

    Mick Mulvaney Will Serve as Acting Chief of Staff, Trump Says

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Mick Mulvaney will serve as his acting chief of staff after the departure of John Kelly at the end of the year. Mulvaney is currently the director of the Office of Management and Budget. Trump has said he was talking to a number of candidates for the position, but [...]

  • Michael Cohen

    Michael Cohen: Trump Knew Hush Money Payments Were Wrong

    WASHINGTON — Michael Cohen claims that Donald Trump knew that hush money payments made to two women in advance of the 2016 election were wrong. Appearing on ABC’s “Good Morning America” for his first interview since being sentenced to three years in prison, Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, said that when payments were being arranged for [...]

  • Trump Jim Acosta CNN White House

    The Gradual Disappearing Act of the White House Daily Press Briefing

    WASHINGTON — The Trump White House has dropped an event that used to be a prized invite for journalists and their families in D.C.: A holiday party for the media. But another tradition has been disappearing from the West Wing agenda as well: the daily press briefing. The regular televised afternoon back and forth between [...]

  • Nexstar Logo

    Nexstar Settles With Justice Department Over Sharing of Ad Information

    WASHINGTON — Nexstar Media Group, which recently announced plans to acquire Tribune Media and become the largest owner of TV stations in the country, has settled with the Justice Department as it investigates broadcasters’ sharing of competitive advertising rate information with rivals. Six other station groups, including Tribune Media, reached a settlement with the DOJ [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content