Trump’s dinner dash sparks backlash from ditched reporters

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President-elect Donald Trump’s decision to ditch his press pool to go to dinner at a New York City restaurant is sparking a wave of protests from many in the press.

The criticism comes after Trump traveled a few blocks from Trump Tower late Tuesday to dine at the 21 Club with his family. Pool reporters who are responsible for covering the president-elect at all times were not informed.

{mosads}The reaction has been swift from the journalism community at large.

“Pool reporters are in place in New York to cover the president-elect as he assembles his new administration. It is critical that they be allowed to do their jobs,” White House Correspondents’ Association President Jeff Mason said in a statement.

On cable news, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow broke into her 9 p.m. show with the news of Trump’s dinner and the press being left behind.

“It is a matter of tradition, a matter of security, a matter of national interest that you don’t go dark. … You don’t get to be a private person anymore,” MSNBC’s highest-rated host explained. “People get to know where you are at all times…

“You may resent that you’re not allowed to have a private life anymore, but it’s a matter of national security and national interest,” Maddow continued.

“You really don’t get to just go anywhere you want. It’s too important to the country.”

Journalists also slammed Trump on social media.

The president-elect’s decision to leave his press pool behind is not unprecedented. In December 2008, then-President-elect Obama did the same while vacationing in Hawaii.

“In the news-free zone that is Barack Obama’s preinauguration Hawaiian vacation, this passes for a bulletin: The president-elect ditched his ‘press pool’ of media minders to take his daughters to a water park on Friday morning,” The New York Times reported.

“In making his dash — with his Secret Service security detail, to be sure — Mr. Obama drew attention both to the seemingly odd but important rituals of the presidential (and prepresidential) bubble and to just how much this very private public man chafes under its constraints.”

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton also ditched her press pool after becoming overheated and leaving a 9/11 memorial service, although amateur video showed her stumbling into a van. Clinton’s press pool was not aware of her whereabouts for 90 minutes. Her doctor later announced she had been diagnosed with pneumonia.  

Trump also left journalists behind last week when he flew to Washington to meet with President Obama.

Tags Barack Obama Donald Trump Hillary Clinton
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