Thursday, September 8, 2016

If Looks Could Kill, We'd Have No Presidential Candidates

Zahara Pruitt

This week has been a whirlwind for The Washington Post.

Presidential Candidate Donald Trump lifted the ban on media outlets whose coverage he thought was unfair. This ban, of course, was extended to the Washington Post. Media outlets such as BuzzFeed, the Huffington Post and Politico were included in this group. Trump told CNN that he lifted the ban because he figured "they can't treat me any worse."

This statement literally caused me to chuckle when I first saw it. Of all the reasons that Mr. Trump could've said to try and gain some rapport back with the media, he chose to say this. Statements like these by Presidential Candidate Trump seriously make me question what his PR team is doing. I'm not even a PR student; however, I can see clear as day what a good opportunity this was to change the dialogue from being THE MEDIA VS. TRUMP.

The Washington Post also jumped on board with several other news outlets in being very critical of journalist Matt Lauer in his 30 minute interview with Mr. Trump on prime time television Wednesday night.

However, they went about this approach in a different way. Instead of overtly criticizing Mr. Lauer, they mentioned the obstacles that all journalists who will work as a debate moderator this election season will have to overcome. These obstacles include, but are not limited to, having difficulty controlling the debate, making sure they are fact-checking are pointing candidates out when they are in fact lying and facilitating a meaningful debate without clashing with the candidates.

Lauer received a lot of criticism specifically for not calling out Mr. Trump when he said that he was "totally against the war in Iraq". Lauer did not press Mr. Trump at all on this even though much of the 30-minute conversation centered around Iraq and Mr. Trump was repetitive in asserting this claim. More of the interview can be seen here.

 The Washington Post also posted an interesting, lighter satirical piece about Hillary Clinton's wardrobe. The headline of the article reads "How Hillary Clinton can get that 'presidential look'". When I first saw this headline, I immediately though "oh gosh, here we go again with another piece criticizing the female presidential nominee's choice of outfits and not her policies", but upon actually clicking on the piece I was pleasantly surprised.

The piece is a satirical take on a comment that Mr. Trump made in an interview on Sept. 6 where he said "Well, I just don't think she has a presidential look, and you need a presidential look." The article looks at most of the US Presidents that we've had over time and points out things like "brushing all of you hair in the wrong direction" and "only having one tooth" being a necessity in order to achieving 'the presidential look' that is so necessary according to Mr. Trump.

The Washington Post also wrote a compelling piece this week about wording that Mr. Trump used to brag that he's used his money to buy off politicians before, "just not this time." I think that says a lot about Mr. Trump's somewhat shaky character and morals.

Once again, Washington Post coverage for the week leaned more in Trump's favor if you do believe the old saying that any press is good press. He dominated the front page of the website and the sheer number of articles that are being pushed by the Post are about Mr. Trump.

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