A good journalist does not allow anyone to set the ground rules for an interview or meeting. And we do our best to avoid “off-the-record” conversations.
Our job as reporters is to get the facts and share them with the public. You can’t do that if you agree to go “off-the-record” which means you can’t share anything you talked about during that discussion.
TRUMP HAD HIS WAY WITH TV JOURNALISTS
On Monday, President-elect Donald Trump had his way with some of the best TV journalists and their bosses. They were suckered into a meeting where they became his punching bags.
I watched on a live feed as CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Erin Burnett, NBC’s Lester Holt, CBS’s Gayle King, Charlie Rose, Norah O’Donnell, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos arrived to Trump Tower. According to the New York Post the meeting turned into a Trump tirade. He was finally facing the people he called “scum and liars” on the campaign trail. He took the opportunity on his turf to let them know what he thought of them and according to sources it was ugly.
I am disappointed they agreed to have an “off-the-record” meeting with the President-elect. What were they thinking? What happened to digging for the truth, standing up for journalism, and not taking his abuse anymore.
All these high-profile TV news anchors, reporters and managers missed a big opportunity to stand together as journalists and tell Mr. Trump that we won’t be humiliated, berated, intimidated, or bullied for doing our jobs. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe one of the TV anchors or reporters was brave enough to speak up for journalists in that meeting, but I guess we’ll never know since it was “off the record.”
Donald Trump played the media. Here’s hoping those high-profile TV news anchors and reporters don’t get suckered by him again in the future.
MORE ON TV JOURNALISTS AND TRUMP
Here’s a video worth watching.
Washington Post media columnists Erik Wemple and Margaret Sullivan talk about the meeting between the TV journalists and Trump, and how the broadcasters and their bosses should have known better.