The fair-play blow-up is escalating between the mainstream media and the Trump campaign. I wouldn’t bet against Trump in this one.
Ben Bowles reported earlier on Friday that Trump got the media to hang around giving him live coverage, for nearly half an hour of a press event that featured highly-decorated military veterans endorsing him. Trump accomplished this feat by announcing before the event that he would discuss the “birther” controversy. The media salivated on cue.
And Trump did discuss it — for less than a minute. He took no questions on the subject. He just pocketed his 20-plus minutes of free campaign-endorsement coverage, and left.
The MSM struck back afterward, refusing to cover the tour of the Trump hotel — the venue for the event — scheduled for after the press conference.
But there’s more than meets the eye in that little counter-slap. Sure, everyone can believe the media would refuse to do the coverage because they resent being snookered.
But the Trump campaign itself did something at the hotel that on one level may relate to the event at a black church in Detroit last week. After that event, analysts of the media-pool video streamed from it suggested that someone in charge — on the media side — cut the video in the middle of Trump’s comments.
Last week, the media pool producer said the Trump campaign was forcing them to pack all their stuff up and hurry out to join the Trump motorcade. That, according to the producer, CBS’s Sopan Deb, was why video coverage of Trump’s remarks had to be cut off.
I noted at the time that this sounded pretty disorganized on the part of the media — and basically not very credible. They couldn’t just have enough people there to cover the whole church event and also accompany the motorcade?
Interestingly enough, what Trump’s people did today (Friday) was this: they told the media-pool producer she couldn’t go on the hotel tour. Only the actual cameramen would be allowed to cover the tour.
Politico quotes the producer:
[W]hen Trump was supposed to take the press on a tour of his new hotel, the editorial producer for the network pool was physically detained.
“As the designated pool producer; attempted to go on pooled tour, as is customary. Was physically restrained from accompanying the camera,” tweeted ABC producer Candace Smith.
So the MSM pool pulled out, citing its rules.
“The pool rules state any event that is pooled with cameras, there has to be a pool producer. Due to the fact we were not granted editorial access, as is customary, that decision [to pull out] was made and the footage was erased,” a member of the Trump traveling press told POLITICO.
I doubt Trump cares about the pull-out. He’s accustomed to paying for professional advertising for his hotels anyway — and more importantly, he has editorial control over commercially-contracted advertising. His hotels are how he earns his living. It’s probably not the best idea to hand editorial control of the coverage over to the MSM when they’ve just been stirred up like a hornet’s nest.
So it may be that he was just protecting his assets by having the pool producer blocked. It also may be that he had no intention of participating, willy-nilly, in a repeat of the video cut-off in Detroit.
Either way, or both ways, he got what he wanted from the “birther” event switcheroo, and didn’t have to concede anything he didn’t want to. So far, the media haven’t figured out what to do about that.
When was the last time that could be said about the mainstream media covering any candidate who’s not a Democrat?