In an extraordinary move, Pres. Trump’s 2020 campaign announced today that it is banning a major news outlet’s reporters from obtaining press credentials to its campaign events.
In this case, it’s Bloomberg News.
Trump 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale described the campaign’s decision to ban Bloomberg News reporters as a reaction to last week’s announcement from Bloomberg News editor in chief John Micklethwait that it would not investigate Democratic presidential candidates, following the entry of the media outlet’s owner, Mike Bloomberg, into the presidential race.
Axios’ White House correspondent Jonathan Swan obtained a statement from Parscale:
“The decision by Bloomberg News to formalize preferential reporting policies is troubling and wrong.
Bloomberg News has declared that they won’t investigate their boss or his Democrat competitors, many of whom are current holders of high office, but will continue critical reporting on President Trump. As President Trump’s campaign, we are accustomed to unfair reporting practices, but most news organizations don’t announce their biases so publicly. Presented with this new policy from Bloomberg News, our campaign was forced to determine how to proceed.
Since they have declared their bias openly, the Trump campaign will no longer credential representatives of Bloomberg News for rallies or other campaign events. We will determine whether to engage with individual reporters or answer inquiries from Bloomberg News on a case-by-case basis. This will remain the policy of the Trump campaign until Bloomberg News publicly rescinds its decision.”
The statement from Micklethwait: “The accusation of bias couldn’t be further from the truth. We have covered Donald Trump fairly and in an unbiased way since he became a candidate in 2015 and will continue to do so despite the restrictions imposed by the Trump campaign.”
This is not the first time the Trump White House has banned reporters from covering events. The White House took Jim Acosta‘s press pass away last fall, after an especially aggressive back and forth with the president during a Nov. 7, 2018 post-midterms press conference. Acosta had his pass restored Nov. 19, 2018, after CNN made legal threats against the White House.
Acosta’s CNN colleague on the White House beat, Kaitlan Collins, was briefly banned from covering a White House event in the Rose Garden in July 2018. According to the White House, the questions being asked by Collins were “inappropriate.” (Collins was the pool reporter for the event)
Other major news organizations and the White House Correspondents Association publicly expressed support for Acosta and Collins, and condemned the White House’s decision to revoke their credentials at the time. It remains to be seen if the media will show support for Bloomberg Newsers as well.