At an event in his newly opened hotel in Washington DC, Donald Trump trolled the media so hard on Friday. In retaliation, members of the media are reportedly deleting campaign footage to punish the GOP candidate.
The event was touted to be one where Trump would make a “major announcement” and take back his earlier claims that President Obama wasn’t born in this country, but what happened instead is making the media lose their minds.
Ironically, one of the veterans who spoke at the event was Gen. Thomas McInerney — one of the leaders of the so-called “birther” campaign that set out to prove Obama was born outside of the United States and was thus ineligible to be president.
As The Washington Post‘s Chris Cillizza pointed out, due to Trump’s tardy arrival, cable news outlets spent nearly 90 minutes covering an empty podium and several generals remarking about how tough Trump is before he finally said what they wanted to hear: “Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy,” he said. “I finished it. President Obama was born in the United States. Period.”
By contrast, Trump said four times as much about his new hotel than the birther controversy. As The Week notes, “Trump spoke only 67 words acknowledging Obama’s birthplace of Hawaii — but offered 270 words on the hotel opening.”
CNN’s Jake Tapper deemed Trump’s event to be a giant Rickroll on the media.
“We all got Rickrolled and played in terms of rolling the endorsements from those American heroes who came to talk about Donald Trump and why they support him,” Tapper said “What’s largely going to be covered are these two sentences, one of which is completely untrue — the idea that Hillary Clinton started this and he ended it.”
Other reporters took to Twitter to whine about it.
Sounds like something a US presidential candidate should do 52 days before the election! pic.twitter.com/QOkewGHkr5
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) September 16, 2016
What's really galling is that today, once again, Donald Trump used a racist conspiracy theory to boost his political and personal fortunes.
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) September 16, 2016
The New York Times’ Maggie Habberman tweeted that reporters covering the Trump campaign reportedly deleted footage of the real-estate mogul giving a tour of the hotel as payback for getting bait-and-switched.
A source says Trump broadcast pool just erased tape of his tour of the hotel in protest of bait-and-switch w no editorial access.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) September 16, 2016
If true, the media’s reaction contrasts starkly with what they put up with from Hillary Clinton. Last year, she roped off members of the press at a Fourth of July parade to keep them away from her.
She rarely allows members of the media to ask her questions. Last month, she finally participated in a press conference hosted by the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists — after going nearly a year without a single press event.
Not only is the media’s reaction very different from the treatment they’ve shown Clinton, but it raises ethical questions as well. The media generally had no qualms about covering Clinton when she went to Chipotle or tried (and failed) to ride the New York subway all while she was refusing to take their questions.