CNN took the presumptive Republican presidential nominee to school, as Dana Bash explained to Trump the meaning of the First Amendment and the purpose of a free press.
— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) May 31, 2016
CNN’s Dana Bash said, “You know, I pride myself on being dispassionate, as we all do, but this is a situation where I don’t think we should be dispassionate, and the reason is because just take a step back to where we were, and where you guys were leading into this press conference in New York.”
Bash said that this was supposed to be a good news story for Trump, but, “Instead, what did he do? He attacked the press as you said as sleazy as dishonest multiple times. And not to get too corny about it, but it is the press. Number one, it is our jobs to ask questions particularly of public figures especially somebody who wants to be the leader of the free world when they make a promise, and they do it in a very public way like he did with this big rally for veterans, it is our job to say where’s the money? Where did it go? How much did you raise? It is a fundamental requirement of a free press. It’s what makes us different than North Korea or other places. And he hasn’t had to answer questions like this in his prior life, he’s been a public figure for decades, and he hasn’t had to answer questions because he’s been a public figure in the press if you will, but he’s been a private citizen. It’s a different ballgame now, so it is up to us to ask the questions, and I think it’s because like Drew Griffin and others were asking questions about where this money was going that these veterans groups were able to get this money.”
Dana Bash was right. Without the media scrutiny, Trump probably would have never donated the money. Trump has never made a cash donation to a charity before. Previously, all of his donations were things like free rounds of golf at his golf courses. I don’t think Trump and rich pals had any intention of paying up. The fundraiser was supposed to be a show that they expected the media to forget about their promise.
It isn’t just that Trump doesn’t understand the free press. Donald J. Trump is openly hostile towards the concept of a free press. Trump has threatened to change the libel laws so that he can go after “unfriendly” outlets if he wins the White House. Trump’s repeated attacks on the media were an old Republican trick. When in doubt, attack the press.
Donald Trump is Richard Nixon revisited. His slash and burn press conference performance finally woke up the mainstream to the threat that Trump represents to their future existence.