Donald Trump Bars Des Moines Register From Covering Campaign Rally

Donald Trump is throwing a temper tantrum in Iowa.

Donald Trump Speaking Closeup

Donald Trump has banned reporters from the largest newspaper in the Iowa from covering his campaign rally today in retaliation for an editorial the paper published earlier this week:

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has denied The Des Moines Register press credentials to gain access to a candidate event scheduled for Saturday in Oskaloosa.

The reason: an editorial published by the newspaper last Tuesday calling on Trump to quit the Republican race.

Register political columnist Kathie Obradovich was informed Friday that she had been denied a credential to the event, a “family picnic” featuring Trump that will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday at the George Daily Community Auditorium in Oskaloosa.

Trump’s national campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, told Obradovich in a phone call that the Register was being excluded from the event because of the editorial.

The Register’s editorial board operates independently from the editors and reporters who conduct political coverage.

In a subsequent conversation with the Register’s chief political reporter, Jennifer Jacobs, Lewandowski reiterated that news staffers were being denied access because of the editorial.

“We’re not issuing credentials to anyone from The Des Moines Register based on the editorial that they wrote earlier in the week,” he said.]

(…)

In a statement, Amalie Nash, the Register’s editor and vice president for audience engagement, emphasized the division between the newspaper’s news and opinion desks.

“We are disappointed that Mr. Trump’s campaign has taken the unusual step of excluding Register reporters from covering his campaign event in Iowa on Saturday because he was displeased with our editorial,” she said. “As we previously said, the editorial has no bearing on our news coverage. We work hard to provide Iowans with coverage of all the candidates when they spend time in Iowa, and this is obviously impeding our ability to do so. We hope Mr. Trump’s campaign will revisit its decision instead of making punitive decisions because we wrote something critical of him.”

Among other things, the Register‘s editorial stated that Trump’s antics had impacted the Republican Presidential race “to such an extent that serious candidates who actually have the credentials to serve as president can’t get their message across to voters,” and called on him to end his “bloviating sideshow.” Given such strong language, it’s perhaps understandable that the campaign would be annoyed, and I would have expected a similar reaction from the campaign of any other candidate who was the subject of such a blistering editorial. At the same time, though, denying reporters access to your event because of what the Editorial Page said is the kind of petty vindictiveness that doesn’t speak well of Trump or his campaign advisers, and should give a good indication of how he would operate in the incredibly unlikely event that he actually ever became President.

In reality, of course, this showdown with the Register is all part of the same populist “anti-establishment” campaign that Trump has been running for the past month. If there’s one entity that the populist right hates, it’s the “liberal” media, so taking on one of the representatives of that group is likely to resonate well with the people support Trump. Additionally, while the Register is biggest paper in the state it is apparently not very well regarded by hardcore Iowa Republicans so Trump likely isn’t hurting himself by dissing the paper, especially since it will likely guarantee that he gets a lot more free air time in the form of coverage by the state’s television stations. Say what you will about Trump, and there’s plenty to be said, but he’s playing this game very well right now and the populist right seems to be enjoying the ride.

Update: Jennifer Jacobs, the head political reporter at the Register, apparently was able to get into the event along with another reporter from the paper:

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. al-Ameda says:

    in reality, of course, this showdown with the Register is all part of the same populist “anti-establishment” campaign that Trump has been running for the past month. If there’s one entity that the populist right hates, it’s the “liberal” media, so taking on one of the representatives of that group is likely to resonate well with the people support Trump.

    Absolutely correct – this is a freebie, Trump pays no price for this.

    In a somewhat related matter:
    Out here in San Francisco, a City Supervisor, Scott Weiner, refused to answer a FoxNews reporter’s question concerning the recent illegal immigration and the murder of Kate Steinle, saying, “Fox News is not real news.” This is the Bay Area so as expected his comment played well, in the mainstream conservative media there was a firestorm.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    So… the Register has figured out how to get out of that thankless task. I wonder how long it will take the rest of the media to follow suit.

  3. Mu says:

    Of course, being a bored reporter excluded from the event the reporter might do some real reporting, like counting the people actually going. And find out instead of the “10,000” there were 648 supporters and 359 paid actors.

  4. Mikey says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Perhaps all the other news organizations could put on a display of solidarity by refusing to cover Trump’s campaign at all.

    I know, very unlikely, but one can dream…

  5. edmondo says:

    … denying reporters access to your event because of what the Editorial Page said is the kind of petty vindictiveness that doesn’t speak well of Trump or his campaign advisers, and should give a good indication of how he would operate in the incredibly unlikely event that he actually ever became President.

    Yeah, he might end up acting like Obama:

    The White House Press Office has refused to give the Boston Herald full access to President Obama’s Boston fund-raiser today, in e-mails objecting to the newspaper’s front page placement of a Mitt Romney op-ed, saying pool reporters are chosen based on whether they cover the news “fairly.”

    “I tend to consider the degree to which papers have demonstrated to covering the White House regularly and fairly in determining local pool reporters,” White House spokesman Matt Lehrich wrote in response to a Herald request for full access to the presidential visit.

  6. gVOR08 says:

    @Mikey: Speaking of dreaming, given that they believe he’s a “bloviating sideshow”, perhaps they should have preempted Trump and announced in the editorial that they’d quit covering him.

  7. CSK says:

    @gVOR08:

    Or they could do what the HuffPo did and relegate him to the entertainment pages.

  8. DrDaveT says:

    Seems to me that there’s enough unprofessional stupid here on all sides. Trump at least has a (petty) reason for what he’s doing. What’s the Register‘s excuse for outsourcing their editorial page? If your editorials don’t reflect the views of the editors, why are they there at all?

  9. Tony W says:

    Trump has the conservative victim thing down.

  10. de stijl says:

    the Register is biggest paper in the state it is apparently not very well regarded by hardcore Iowa Republicans

    Conservatives have convinced themselves that any media outlet that is not “Rah, Rah! Team Red!” is therefore liberal.

    Since they live in a binary, Manichean world, they assume that everyone else does too.

  11. de stijl says:

    @DrDaveT:

    What’s the Register‘s excuse for outsourcing their editorial page? If your editorials don’t reflect the views of the editors, why are they there at all?

    I think you’re misreading this statement:

    The Register’s editorial board operates independently from the editors and reporters who conduct political coverage.

    The editorial board are the folks responsible for the editorial page.

    Like the vast majority of all newspapers, there is a Chinese Wall between the news editors and reporters, and the editorial board.

    IOW, a news editor is a very different thing than a member of the editorial board.

  12. de stijl says:

    @Tony W:

    Trump has the conservative victim thing down.

    Yes, but he also has generally very thin skin as a rule. It doesn’t necessarily have to do with his political “career.”

    He gets in beefs and petty feuds up any time someone criticizes him. Mark Cuban, Rosie O’Donnell, Russell Brand, Jay Leno, Cher, Neil Patrick Harris, gymnast Shawn Johnson (okay, I made that one up), etc.

    And not exciting, entertaining 50 Cent-like feuds, but banal Bravo! Housewives type feuds.

    And his retort is invariably some combination of “pathetic”, “low-class”, and “loser”.

    In my mind, I always see him as a middle-school Mean Girl who can dish it out, but not take it.

  13. DrDaveT says:

    @de stijl:

    IOW, a news editor is a very different thing than a member of the editorial board.

    Got it. Thanks for the correction.

    On the other hand, I think if the reporters have a beef, it’s with their management. If the paper is going to publish scathingly sarcastic editorials about Donald Trump, the paper really shouldn’t be surprised when Trump decides he doesn’t want to support their bottom line.

  14. Tony W says:

    @de stijl: I would pay good money to watch a cage match between him and Rosie O’Donnell.