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.
We start our day with President-elect Donald Trump. For those who supported him. Congratulations. For those who did not, wipe off those tears and remember your rights as Americans still exist.
But this is now a very divided country. We know that. It will be Trump’s job to figure out a way to bring all Americans together. As people of color there is a fear. Do we regress to what we had in the 1950’s or will Donald Trump figure out a way to unite us?
As women we also have our fears. Do we lose our rights to stand on an equal platform or do men feel a win for Trump means a pass to grope us when they want? Yes, that’s a valid concern after hearing the Access Hollywood tape.
LET FEAR FUEL YOUR PASSION TO DO THE RIGHT THING
But now is not the time to allow fear to hold you back. Use that fear to fuel your passion to do what is right for this country. One man, one political party, one election does not take away our voice, our strength, our power as Americans.
It hasn’t been easy for journalists either, but we still have a job to do. Learn from the journalists who covered the Trump campaign. Often they endured verbal attacks from Trump and his supporters but kept pushing forward, seeking the facts. We need to continue asking the tough questions of our President-elect as we have done with past individuals voted into office.
Donald Trump has four years to prove himself and keep those promises he made to his supporters. The clock starts now.