Trump bars ri­val’s news agency

Los Angeles Times - - THE NATION - By Michael Fin­negan

Pres­i­dent Trump’s re­elec­tion cam­paign has banned Bloomberg News from cov­er­ing its ral­lies and other public events, cit­ing what it calls a bi­ased cov­er­age pol­icy by the me­dia com­pany of one of his Demo­cratic ri­vals.

The news or­ga­ni­za­tion, owned by bil­lion­aire and pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Michael R. Bloomberg, has de­clared it will not in­ves­ti­gate the for­mer New York mayor or any of his fel­low Democrats vy­ing for the party’s 2020 pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion — but will con­tinue to in­ves­ti­gate Trump.

“The de­ci­sion by Bloomberg News to for­mal­ize pref­er­en­tial re­port­ing poli­cies is trou­bling and wrong,” Trump cam­paign man­ager Brad Parscale said in a state­ment.

He called on Bloomberg to re­scind its pol­icy, say­ing most news or­ga­ni­za­tions “don’t an­nounce their bi­ases so pub­licly.”

“Since they have de­clared their bias openly, the Trump cam­paign will no longer cre­den­tial rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Bloomberg News for ral­lies or other cam­paign events,” Parscale said. “We will de­ter­mine whether to en­gage with in­di­vid­ual re­porters or an­swer in­quiries from Bloomberg News on a case-by-case ba­sis.”

John Mick­leth­wait, Bloomberg News ed­i­tor in chief, de­fended the de­ci­sion.

“The ac­cu­sa­tion of bias couldn’t be fur­ther from the truth,” he said. “We have cov­ered Don­ald Trump fairly and in an un­bi­ased way since he be­came a can­di­date in 2015 and will con­tinue to do so de­spite the re­stric­tions im­posed by the Trump cam­paign.”

Bloomberg launched his can­di­dacy last week — months af­ter an­nounc­ing that he had de­cided not to run.

Howard Wolf­son, a se­nior po­lit­i­cal ad­vi­sor to Bloomberg, said on Twit­ter: “One week in and Mike is al­ready un­der Trump’[s] skin.”

Dur­ing much of his 2016 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign, Trump re­fused to give me­dia cre­den­tials to the Wash­ing­ton Post, Buz­zFeed, Politico and other out­lets whose cov­er­age he dis­liked. Re­porters got around the black­list­ing by en­ter­ing his ral­lies with the public. Trump lifted the ban two months be­fore the elec­tion.

The Trump cam­paign’s de­ci­sion drew a re­buke from Dean Ba­quet, ex­ec­u­tive ed­i­tor of the New York Times. “We con­demn any ac­tion that keeps qual­ity news me­dia from re­port­ing fairly and ac­cu­rately on the pres­i­dency and the lead­er­ship of the coun­try,” he said.

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