Remember when I called for media outlets to fight back against Donald Trump’s abusive comments about the press by refusing to cover his events, not mentioning his tweets, and not allowing him to call in during live news shows? The suppliers must cut the addict off from the drug he so desperately needs (free media, particularly live TV) until he goes to rehab and sees the error of his ways.
Now Dana Milbank of the Washington Post — a paper whose reporters were recently banned by Trump’s team from covering his rallies, joining a list of outlets that includes The Daily Beast, the Des Moines Register, Politico, and Univision — is suggesting pretty much the same things I’ve said:
There is, happily, a just and appropriate response to Trump’s blacklist: a Trump blackout. I don’t mean an outright ban of Trump coverage. That would be shirking our civic responsibility. But I suggest an end to the uncritical, free publicity that propelled him to the GOP nomination in the first place:
● No more live, wall-to-wall coverage of Trump’s rallies and events; this sort of “coverage,” particularly by cable news outlets, has been a huge in-kind contribution to Trump.
● No more Trump call-ins to TV shows; this enables him to plant falsehoods with little risk of follow-up.
● Rigorous use of real-time fact-checking, pointing out Trump’s falsehoods in the stories in which they’re reported. That’s not injecting opinion — it’s stating fact.
Beyond that, news organizations should demand that the Republican National Committee, at next month’s convention, reinstate and credential all media outlets that Trump has banned. Does the RNC want to join Trump in opposing a free press?