Donald Trump Isn’t Just Insulting Reporters, He’s Calling Security on Them

Photo: Charlie Neibergall/AP Photo.
Donald Trump has already made a habit of personally attacking journalists who ask him questions he doesn't like. At a press conference in Dubuque, Iowa on Tuesday night, Trump had Jorge Ramos, a news anchor for Univision, removed, when he tried to ask a question about the candidate's harsh views and statements on immigration. Just hours after Trump refused to apologize for nasty tweets and attacks against Fox journalist Megyn Kelly, Trump told Ramos to "Go back to Univision," and on Wednesday morning, he told the TODAY show that he thought Ramos, whose news show reaches millions of people every day, was "out of line." Ramos was eventually let back into the press conference and allowed to ask two questions. What were these "out of line" questions that made Trump feel so disrespected? Ramos pointed out that so far, Trump hasn't actually said how he plans to carry out his proposals. “You cannot deport 11 million people, you cannot deny citizenship to the children," Ramos said, fighting to speak over Trump's objections. "You’d have to change the constitution. Trump's response when Ramos asked how he would actually put up the nearly 2,000 mile wall he has vowed to build between the U.S. and Mexico was only to quip, "I'm a builder." Hardly a concrete policy plan. Ramos told ABC after the incident, "I think the best journalism happens when you take a stand, and when it comes to racism, discrimination, corruption, public life, dictatorship or human rights, as journalists, we are not only required but we are forced to take a stand, and clearly when Mr. Trump is talking about immigration in an extreme way, we have to confront him, and I think that's what I did yesterday. In the past, Trump has feuded with Univision, America's largest Spanish-language broadcaster, as the channel canceled the Miss USA beauty pageant after the businessman said that Mexicans are rapists and criminals. Pointing out that the current leader of the Republican presidential field is gaining supporters by talking up a punitive, logistically impossible plan to target overwhelmingly non-white immigrants might have been a laudable "tough question" from a different journalist. But at the moment, very few have tried to penetrate Trump's force field of ego. Some news outlets have crunched the numbers to find out exactly how realistic — and expensive — it would be to turn Trump's "deport them all" rhetoric into real world policy. The numbers are not pretty — the lowest estimate is still more than 100 billion dollars, and the cost would be the easiest thing to predict. It's not abnormal for presidential candidates to dodge or ignore questions they don't like; it's a basic truth of politics that they do it. But imagine something like this happening at an Obama campaign event in 2008, or at a Bush event in 2004. It would be a dangerous suppression of free speech. If Trump wants to complain about questions he gets from reporters who think his ideas don't hold up, he can, but journalists need to be allowed to ask them first.

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