On Monday, the Trump campaign revoked press credentials from reporters for Bloomberg News, since their owner Michael Bloomberg is running for president and ordering his hundreds of reporters to avoid all investigative reporting not only on him, but on all of his Democratic rivals...even as they promise to continue investigating Trump.
The television networks have been intensely critical for three and a half years now of Donald Trump’s alleged destruction of journalistic norms. How have they covered and/or condemned Bloomberg’s destruction of journalistic norms? Most of them haven’t even mentioned it, let alone condemned it.
Since Bloomberg threw his hat into the ring on Sunday, November 24, ABC, CBS, NBC, and PBS have all failed to utter a single word – positive or negative or neutral – on their major morning or evening or Sunday interview shows on the Bloomberg News policy. They have even failed to cover Monday’s Trump campaign decision, perhaps to maintain a perfect blackout. To be clear, this is the record:
Only the media reporters seem to be covering this story. NPR’s David Folkenflik offered a story last Monday on the Bloomberg News policy, and another one this morning on the Trump campaign revocation of credentials. Even then, Folkenflik praised Bloomberg’s alleged “strong reputation for fairness,” but called Michael Bloomberg’s policy a “self-inflicted and unnecessary wound.”
What about cable news? A search of the shows available on Nexis found MSNBC didn’t find this story until a 47-second brief by Brian Williams on the new Trump policy on December 2. Williams merely mentioned the Bloomberg-Trump fracas without criticizing Bloomberg or Trump. There was another brief at 5:45 am today on First Look.
CNN’s Brian Stelter offered one critical segment on the December 1 Reliable Sources, but the rest of the network had next to nothing (unless you count shows at 4 in the morning).
Fox News, on the other hand, has covered the story, and questioned the Bloomberg policy. As Fox's Howard Kurtz said on Special Report, “As mayor, Bloomberg refused to tell the press his whereabouts on weekend trips. Now, he's limiting his own company's ability to cover his campaign at the risk of undermining its journalistic independence.”
PS: At least one comedian mentioned the policy. CBS Late Late Show host James Corden joked on November 26: "Bloomberg made his fortune by starting a media corporation and over the weekend his news division announced they will not investigate Bloomberg or any other Democrat in the race. Which explains why Donald Trump announced today that he will now be running as a Democrat."