Dan Gilmore / Aug. 26, 2015

Trump, Ramos Play Reality TV Parts Well

A press conference battle turns lively.

Univision anchor Jorge Ramos was headed for conflict. A few days ago, in response to the recent Black Lives Matter protesters interrupting the speeches of Democrat candidates, Donald Trump said, “I would never give up my microphone.” He kept his word. When Trump called on another journalist at an Aug. 25 press conference, Ramos was on his feet, interrupting with a question of his own. Trump was not about to give up his mic. “Excuse me, sit down, you were not called,” Trump told Ramos. “Go back to Univision.” When Ramos persisted, Trump motioned to security, which escorted the reporter out. Later, Ramos was allowed back to ask Trump a question, which resulted in a debate that Trump ended by mentioning he was suing Univision for $500 million. Ramos carries a huge amount of clout, as he’s been called the Walter Cronkite of Spanish-speaking media, but he’s also a self-admitted activist journalist who has spoken critically about Trump and his immigration policies. Ramos stepped on Trump’s toes, breaking from the dance reporters and sources usually play. The bottom line is both men are type-A “conflict junkies,” and they each played the part their audiences wanted them to play.

How is this different than the incident in the Rose Garden in 2012? Barack Obama was giving a speech on immigration when Daily Caller reporter Neil Munro interrupted Obama mid speech, shouting, “Why’d you favor foreigners over Americans?” Obama didn’t sic security on the reporter. If we think the White House’s press relationship is poor now, the relationship in a Trump administration could be downright totalitarian.

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