By Mike Cavender, RTDNA Executive Director
President Trump’s contempt for the news media was again glaringly on display when he chose not to hold a news conference at the conclusion of the G-20 summit in Hamburg. But the impact of his decision goes far beyond simply demonstrating a lack of concern for informing the American people.
Refusing to meet the press and make his own points about the impact of the meeting allowed Russian President Vladimir Putin and others to control the week’s narrative and, again, stake their positions as the more significant leaders of the free world in this new Trumpian-era.
At Putin’s news conference, he made a point of saying the President “accepted” the Russian point of view on election hacking. Did he? Others in the American delegation say no. But we never heard that from the President himself.
What was the result of discussions on such critical topics as climate change, the economies of the world, the disaster in Syria and the nuclear threat posed by North Korea? We no little more from the President than what he said in a tweet, calling the G-20 “a great success.”
This is not about the media. It’s about the American people and their right to know what their president is saying to other world leaders and how it may impact us in the years to follow.
Mr. Trump’s disdain for reporters has denied Americans access to little more than he can say in 140 characters. This is not about breaking with tradition from the presidents before him. It is the end result of his pettiness and his inability to understand and appreciate one of the most fundamental tenets of our society – a free and open press.
In the end, every American citizen is the real loser. Tragic.