‘Troubling and wrong’: Trump blacklists Bloomberg News from covering campaign over bias for billionaire Democrat boss

Media cover Democratic US presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, November 25, 2019. / Free

President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign has barred Bloomberg News from covering rallies and events, citing the outlet’s overt bias for their boss, a billionaire seeking the Democrat presidential nomination.

“We are accustomed to unfair reporting practices but most news organizations don’t announce their biases so publicly,” Trump 2020 manager Brad Parscale said Monday, describing as “troubling and wrong” the outlet’s decision to “formalize preferential reporting policies.”

The campaign will decide whether to deal with individual reporters and will answer inquiries on a case-by-case basis, Parscale added.

Last week, Reuters published excerpts from an internal memorandum Bloomberg News editor-in-chief John Micklethwait sent out, saying the outlet will “continue our tradition of not investigating Mike (and his family and foundation) and we will extend the same policy to his rivals in the Democratic primaries,” while continuing to investigate Trump “as the government of the day.”

Accusations of bias “couldn’t be further from the truth,” Micklethwait said, responding to Parscale’s announcement. He did not deny the memo’s existence or content, but said that Bloomberg News has “covered Donald Trump fairly and in an unbiased way since he became a candidate… and will continue to do so despite the restrictions imposed by the Trump campaign.”

Bloomberg launched his presidential bid last month, jumping into a crowded field of contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination. This put the media empire owned by the former New York City mayor in a difficult position from the standpoint of journalist ethics.

Even some outspoken Democrat activists in the media sphere, such as ThinkProgress founder Judd Legum, sided with Trump on this one. 

“There is no journalistic justification for this. The purpose of this policy is that your billionaire owner doesn’t want you writing negative stories about him,” Legum tweeted at Micklethwait. 

Trump has had a contentious relationship with the press since he announced his candidacy in 2015, to put it mildly. He has embraced the term ‘fake news’ – initially used by the Clinton campaign to attack pro-Trump coverage – to describe the mainstream media, and has cited studies showing that over 90 percent of press coverage of his administration has been negative.

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