Guess Which Got Covered More: Trump’s Media Blacklist or Hillary Not Having Press Conference?


Can you imagine what would happen if former Secretary of State and current Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, or her campaign, blacklisted a reporter from her campaign events? If the uproar surrounding her campaign’s use of ropes to guide reporters along a parade route is any indication, it would be apocalyptic. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has actually had such a blacklist in effect for the better part of the past year, and as you would expect, it has received attention from the press. On Wednesday, it was announced that Trump is ending that blacklist, so we thought it would be a good time to look back at some of the coverage that cable news has devoted to the story:

Oh, did I say some of the coverage? Sorry, according to a search of transcripts for “Trump” and “blacklist” dating back to March, that was all of the coverage on the three cable news networks. The Trump blacklist was mentioned a total of eleven times, and three of those were Chris Cuomo talking about how Trump had blacklisted him individually.

On the other hand, the cable news media is extremely interested in something that Hillary Clinton hasn’t done, which is to hold a formal press conference this year, or since December 5 of last year, to be exact. She’s done more than 350 interviews and, according to her campaign, taken in excess of 2600 questions this year, but has yet to hold a formal press conference. Clinton has given a number of “press avails” at which reporters covering her beat have had the opportunity to ask questions, and while none could fairly be described as “press conferences,” they should be considered as well.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the press covering that, of course, and I would even go so far as to say that it’s almost as newsworthy as Trump’s blacklist. However, according to a search of those same transcripts, the number of days since Hillary’s last press conference has been mentioned 207 times, beginning in March.

Again, I’m not sure what the correct number of mentions for either of these stories is, because as a reporter myself, I find them both extremely noteworthy, but I would expect them to be roughly equal, or if anything, for the blacklist to be covered more heavily, as it involves open and active hostility toward the press. Now that Trump is ending it, it’s a wonder any cable news viewers know it existed in the first place.

This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

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