So Sad! Brian Stelter, Post Reporter Can't Get Press Credentials from Trump Campaign

April 20th, 2024 9:34 PM

Charlotte Klein at Vanity Fair was upset that the Trump campaign is “cutting off access” to reporters who are extremely hostile to Trump, including Brian Stelter (also of Vanity Fair) and Washington Post reporter Isaac Arnsdorf, whose new book is titled Finish What We Started: The MAGA Movement’s Ground War to End Democracy.

Klein protested the book “has been praised by two such members of that movement, Steve Bannon and John Fredericks, both of whom had Arnsdorf on their shows and recommended the book to their audiences.” That’s bizarre. By contrast, the Trump campaign took exception to the “End Democracy” hype.

Since February, Arnsdorf has not been permitted to enter campaign events as credentialed media. That doesn’t mean he can’t cover events. He just has to sit where regular folks do. Klein lamented "that requires getting to rallies much earlier, which could be a deal breaker for some journalists given their busy schedules." Cry a river.

“Nobody has been denied any access to our events,” Cheung said in a statement. “If reporters want to cover our events but are unable to secure a coveted press badge, they are more than welcome to apply for general admission tickets in order to experience our events."

Arnsdorf declined to comment on the situation, but a Post spokesperson said the paper “will continue to fairly, accurately and independently report on the presidential campaign.” They don’t sound fair, accurate, or independent. They sound like Democrat operatives. He's not alone:

In recent weeks, the campaign has taken similar punitive measures against other reporters, according to multiple sources familiar with the moves. An Axios reporter had their credentials approved for an event and then revoked the same day, following the publication of a story about the Trump-led Republican National Committee’s struggles in swing states. (An Axios spokesperson declined to comment.)

At least one other Post reporter was temporarily denied press credentials to multiple events after accurately reporting on Trump’s public statements. Most recently, Brian Stelter, a special correspondent for Vanity Fair, was denied press access to Trump’s rally in Schnecksville, Pennsylvania 

Klein conceded that the Trump campaign’s press engagement has even earned it praise.

Some reporters have said they have in certain ways been easier to deal with than Joe Biden’s campaign, according to The New Yorker’s Clare Malone, who recently wrote a piece about Trump spokesman Steven Cheung headlined, “The Face of Donald Trump’s Deceptively Savvy Media Strategy.”

Still, some hostile reporters are still "unnerved by the retaliatory behavior" and what will happen next.

“This is the calm before the storm. Once there’s a press plane with 30 to 40 reporters flying around all the time, that’ll be when they’ll really have to deal with it,” the first political reporter told me. “Negative stories will be coming thick and fast and they haven’t had to deal with this since 2016; in 2020 they just had the White House pool. It’s only gonna get worse, I think.