President Trump, Reporter, Donald Trump discussed on Recode Decode
I don't know But what happens then. How do you cover this then and not say this guy is stone stone cold crazy or something like that while we can't him? We're not experts on mental health and psychological fitness. But we can watch how how he's stressing these institutions now. He's testing them and when he first came into office there was a feeling that okay the legislative branch will hold him accountable and okay okay. The Democrats won the house in two thousand eighteen so suddenly that guardrail is in place. Well that's gone. There was a sense that the Justice Department would be independent from the White House. House would investigate these things properly. That seems to be gone. This Attorney General Bill Bar. WHO's very much following? Trump's orders and trying to protect him politically and and there aren't a lot of institutions. That are standing. Judiciary is one clearly and the courts have blocked a number of things That are considered illegal that the president and his administration situation of tried to do the free press is bringing a lot of this delight and serving a critical function At the moment we've watched over three years these institutions start to erode road. Another five years. I don't know what it's going to look like But our role in all of it is to just chronicle it in question it and bring it to light as best. We Canon quickly as we can. Tell me how it's changed being reported because like you're all on twitter. You're I've always said I thought that one's corrupt this one's like people like cover tech like the house was terrible. Lubar guy is like sociopath. Whatever I like I like when you once you do reporting you can sort of make that? I'm part of a change in reporting where we actually actually tell people we actually think. How does it change his political reporters because there is this sort of Washington political reporter who has been the typical one? Like you all who just were just here to cover the news. Ma'am and then there's this whole new class of political reporters who are just gloves off like and it's a really and then there's all these pundits running around. Where was that going the political because it used used to be much more point? I don't like the blurry -ness of it at all. I I understand where you want to say. I'm calling this what I want to call it but I feel really strongly that the old school way it should be the new way about reporting we tell you the facts you make the decisions the same as what the book you know. We do some analysis us and we we have some through lines and themes that we see but they're based on factual they don't reform right. But but for example you know either call your civil and opinion person or call yourself reporter. There shouldn't be a lot of middle ground we don't need to sex defy are reporting to get people to see it and to know what's going on and make their own conclusion of one thing. We're asked a lot about is like why do you call The president a liar. We were asked about this the other night and I feel as just fill Phil. We're going to use the word lie really carefully data the Washington. It was a big argument with someone there. A high ranking person when he was lying. I'm like it's ally lie. Well we're going to say he fabricates and I was like it's a lot like why not just use the word and he said it's a loaded word. I'm like it's not a loaded word. I think we can say lie when we know right. It's intentional. So for example we didn't know in real time that he was actively lying he knew in the trump tower Don Jr. moment now we know he intentionally lied lied. He was warned that information was inaccurate and he spun it but we just need to be careful about that. I I think we should stay on our lines. It does that. Make it so someone like that wins. 'CAUSE that those people win when you when you have those standards it's really interesting problem When in fact you know better in owed I well? I think just showing people is what we need to do. I actually in terms of winning or losing. We don't think about reporting that way but I will say one thing I worry about is how often when we are chasing the shiny ball. Toss us up in the air each day. Distraction and we we should be digging deeper than just his tweets we of course it's our duty he to cover what he's saying. He's the president of the United States. But there's a lot more going on. What do you think that the shiny ball thing is really a problem? And he's great at it. It's every day it's a new thing that you have to like and and you've forgotten the past six things. It's a huge problem and challenge in our reporting and it's been this way by the way from the very beginning this campaign and we've had to do at the post is it's actually double the team of people covering the president because we feel like we can't ignore how many people do have covering present right. We have seven fulltime White House. Reporters and family have and on top of that. We have breaking news team of three reporters who mostly right about. And that's the president's things early in the morning or late at night when he's tweeting things and then the whole investigative team which is another Component but you know we try to do it all. We've we've decided at the post and the Times has made the same decision to that. We can't ignore when the president says something something outlandish or attack somebody or something of value. He's the president of the United States. What he says on twitter is a statement on our sea of from our country From the leader of our country and should be covered. But we also can't let that get in the way of real digging and reporting so. There's a a assessment priorities. Ladies every day in the newsroom and a lot of the reporters covering the president are assigned to basically ignore the the shiny balls focus on the deeper reporting and enterprise pulled pulled into that world of twitter though. I mean look you just had a controversy at the post with Felicia is so miss Around some as around a Kobe Bryant this was. She doesn't cover Kobe Brighton. Right and just all she did was tweet a A story about his history which is an you know gayle king getting killed at any for just asking question about this history was saying it's inappropriate right now. They do so. It's nobody's business decide. What's appropriate when it is? I can see why people's feelings would be hurt. But I you know I. It's it's a pressure on reporters. When you have a president who's using these tools and beautifully and brazenly to be covering it and not being able to To clapback well. There's no reason for us to cut back on that particular the controversy. I would just say that. It's incredibly important that everybody who works at the Washington Post or for any organization that they're tweeting and social the media presence honors and respects and is true to the mission of what we do every day which is report without fear or favor. Now you know people have have different opinions about when we tweet about someone who just died. WHO's viewed in a lionised way? But I've think it's must be incredibly difficult for for for example Marty Baron. The Post editor executive editor to feel responsible for the tweets and INSTAGRAM's and facebook post of eight hundred and fifty professionals really tricky situation and honestly in this chasm in our country which is almost nearing civil war proportions. One inside thinks Oh. There's the evidence that that person that reporter is is a Yapper or oh. There's the evidence that that reporters in the tank for you know the trumps We just have to be so careful so priestly and it's hard to do. It's hard to do. Yeah what about you. I agree with what Carol just said. And and you know we have We're fortunate to have a big platform on twitter to share our reporting and our news information. And you know that Ah that brings. Its own pressures to like I. I'm very careful about what I tweet about expressing opinions in in the heat of the moment when trump does something and and I always lean towards sharing fact and sharing analysis that gives followers. Something that they wouldn't get otherwise without sort of letting it all out there or without saying threatening personal because we're speaking on behalf of the Washington Post people follow us because we're Washington Post reporters knock because like I'm a Super Ham. Cool Guy Right uh-huh you. You must have to go out to the woods and start screaming. That's okay last question for both of you gotta go Prediction besides besides embolden and please do. Because he's stone call. Okay no but you know what I mean. I love those like now now. He'll really take the gloves. There's been no hello. There have been no. What club are you talking about? CONTINUES TO LOUDER JAZZ hands. But Wha what is the prediction for this election coming boy. Hey by the way in case you're injured that's my landside jazz hands. If you understand jazz hands you understand. Donald Trump having watched all the apprentices. One thing Philon I feel about predicting is that. It's a bad idea but we will say also election election producing you know. It's not a very good day or week or month or year for Democrats and why didn't help but when you look at Donald Trump look at the way he electrifies his his base he can get them riled up excited chanting whatever words he's chanting whether they're factual or not and you don't really feel the same kind of thing on the democratic side so well behaved and he's an he's incumbents commits who already has a huge advantage without electricity. He's got that's the genius that's the that's the special sauce. It's going to be hard to be you know. I don't know how this will turn. He certainly is beatable historically unpopular president and yet talking the Democrats top people in the party. The last few days there is reeling Zaidi and concern That he is is in a very strong political position right now coming out of impeachment and his approval rating is up and he's going to be difficult for the Democrats to beat but they can do it and they haven't haven't Suzy Azam because there are so many people in this country especially young especially Brown especially women who are repulsed by this president and want this period in our history to be over. Are you going to keep covering the ones. Oh boy I don't you know I don't think we can ever not cover donald trump in some capacity of our lives. Yeah so you're going to keep covering them probably. What if he doesn't win? What's what's that next day like? Besides the tweet. It's a huge change. But he's not going to go away right he's not going to be the president that goes up in Marine One off to his ranch and we never hear from him for another year and memoir comes up he's going to he might be acting as shadow auto president trump tower lago. Where his now? He's now the official resident of Florida..