Univision anchor Jorge Ramos, who was removed from a press conference being held by Donald Trump during his first presidential campaign in 2015, blames the media for not stopping Trump from becoming president in an op-ed for the New York Times.
“We journalists should have been tougher on Mr. Trump, questioning his every lie and insult. We should not have let him get away with his racism and xenophobia. We should never again allow someone to create an alternative reality in order to seize the presidency.”
Ramos writes that the news conference was really “a dangerous populist, an anti-immigrant bully, and a threat to democracy and the free press,” and that while some in the media were paying attention, others helped pave his path to the White House and that by “ignoring that early warning sign in Iowa cost the United States dearly.”
Recounting his experience at the press conference, Ramos said that while several journalists sided with him after his confrontation with Trump, “strangely and dangerously, the incident failed to shift the media’s obsessive coverage of Mr. Trump, which over time normalized his rude, abusive and xenophobic behavior. Some members of the press seemed fascinated by the Trump phenomenon; others wrongly thought that he would soon change his ways. The prevailing attitude was something along the lines of “That’s just the way Trump is, and we have to cover him no matter what he says.”
Ramos went on to blame Trump for separating thousands of children from their families at the border, and not condemning white supremacy while bemoaning the three Supreme Court justices that were confirmed during his four years in office.
He also repeated the media’s false claim that President Trump was responsible for the deaths of over 270,000 Americans from the coronavirus with no mention of how his Operation Warp Speed will bring vaccines to combat this disease to Americans in record time.
The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple bristled at Ramos’s suggestion that the media wasn’t tough enough on Trump.
“News organizations responded with full condemnations of Trump’s campaign-trail atrocities, including his labeling of Mexican immigrants as rapists, his call for a Muslim immigration ban, his smear of Sen. John McCain and his degradation of the media. They also investigated Trump’s personal and business history, yielding big stories on lawsuits against him, his treatment of workers, the way he built his real estate business and many, many more.”
Yes, the media may have gone overboard with its wall-to-wall coverage of Trump’s huge rallies across America, but they didn’t avoid asking him tough and uncomfortable questions during the campaign. The media isn’t to blame for not stopping Trump from winning the White House–Hillary Clinton is.