In a move destined to eliminate any possibility that the Huffington Post might be considered a “fair and balanced” news website, the liberal organization has begun adding a harsh message at the bottom of every article dealing with Donald Trump, the GOP front-runner in this year's presidential contest.
The addendum reads: “Note to our readers: Donald Trump is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist, birther and bully who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslins -- 1.6 billion members of an entire religion -- from entering the U.S.”
The first time the message was posted was with an article on Wednesday entitled “Donald Trump Tells Bill O'Reilly It's 'an Eye for an Eye' in War With Fox News” regarding the final Republican debate before the Iowa Caucus takes place next Monday.
According to reporter Ed Mazza, Bill O'Reilly -- host of the popular weeknight Fox News Channel program The O'Reilly Factor -- wanted Trump “to be the bigger man in his ongoing feud” with the “fair and balanced” news channel and especially fellow weeknight anchor Megyn Kelly, who during the first GOP debate asked the candidate a question that included his unflattering descriptions of women.
“In your Christian faith,” O'Reilly said, “there is a very significant tenet, and that's the tenet of forgiveness, Don't you think that's the right thing to do?"
"It probably is," Trump replied. "But y'know, it's called an eye for an eye. I guess also you can look at it that way."
Instead, Trump “plugged his event on Thursday night for the Wounded Warrior Project,” an organization that provides help and healing for soldiers who were injured in battle.
"I have zero respect for Megyn Kelly,” the GOP candidate stated. “I don't think she's very good at what she does, I think she's highly overrated.”
After his interview with O'Reilly, Trump continued his assault in a post on the Twitter social media website:
I refuse to call Megyn Kelly a bimbo because that would not be politically correct. Instead, I will only call her a lightweight reporter!
Then, in an article on the Politico website written by Peter Sterne, a Huffington Post spokesperson told a staff member of the site that “we're planning to add this note to all future stories about Trump, No other candidate has called for banning 1.6 billion people from the country!”
Meanwhile, during The Kelly File program on Tuesday night, the host said she will still co-moderate the debate. “The truth is he doesn't get to control the media,” she declared. “I’ll be there. ... The debate will go on with or without Trump.”
According to an article by Peter Cirilli on the Bloomsberg network website, Trump's campaign also released a statement saying that the GOP candidate “knows a bad deal when he sees one.”
The release also noted:
Fox News is making tens of millions of dollars on debates and setting ratings records (the highest in history), whereas in previous years, they were low-rated afterthoughts.
Unlike the very stupid, highly incompetent people running our country into the ground, Mr. Trump knows when to walk away.
“Senator Ted Cruz wasted no time in attacking Trump, telling radio host Mark Levin that Trump was 'afraid' to face questions,” Cirilli added. “This is a job interview,” Cruz told Levin. “You have to be able to answer the questions of the American people.”
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie told Kelly on Fox News that Trump's absence at the debate will “give us more time to talk." ... "That's OK with me, but the American people should wonder if you're not willing to show up when everything isn't going your way.”
As NewsBusters reported last July, HuffPo Washington Bureau Chief Ryan Grim and Editorial Director Danny Shea announced:
After watching and listening to Donald Trump since he announced his candidacy for president, we have decided we won't report on Trump's campaign as part of The Huffington Post's political coverage. Instead, we will cover his campaign as part of our Entertainment section. Our reason is simple: Trump's campaign is a sideshow.
In December, HuffPo founder Arianna Huffington claimed: “Since then, Trump's campaign has certainly lived up to that billing.”
After Trump called for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” Huffington announced that “we will be changing how we cover him at The Huffington Post.”
“We will no longer be covering his campaign in Entertainment,” she stated. “But that's not to say we'll be treating it as if it were a normal campaign.”
Recent polls have Trump leading in Iowa ahead of the caucuses on Monday. Cruz is in second place, but there's no telling what impact the Trump-less debate -- and the media coverage of the event -- will have on the race for the White House.