Type to search

NATIONAL

Trump Allies Raise Money To Find Dirt On Liberal Journalists

President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence delivers remarks during the Jobs Announcement event with Foxconn Wednesday, July 26, 2017, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)
President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence delivers remarks during the Jobs Announcement event with Foxconn Wednesday, July 26, 2017, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

“Our primary opponent is the Fake News Media. In the history of our Country, they have never been so bad!”

Some of President Trump’s political allies are raising money to find dirt on journalists and editors critical of the Trump administration, according to a three-page fundraising pitch reviewed by Axios. Under the “primary targets” section of the pitch, several major outlets are listed:

“CNN, MSNBC, all broadcast networks, NY Times, Washington Post, BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, and all others that routinely incorporate bias and misinformation in to their coverage. We will also track the reporters and editors of these organizations.”

The group will seek to dig up unflattering information about reporters and editors deemed hostile to Trump, before sending the “damaging information” to “friendly media outlets” such as Breitbart.

Both Axios and the New York Times have determined that Arthur Schwarz, a conservative consultant and informal adviser to Donald Trump Jr., is at the center of the operation.

Schwartz has so far unearthed old tweets and public comments that have been “professionally harmful” to their targets, including antisemitic and racist posts that New York Times political editor Tom Wright-Piersanti wrote in college, which was then retweeted by Donald Trump Jr., Sen. Ted Cruz, and Trump campaign senior adviser Katrina Pierson.

“If the @nytimes thinks this settles the matter we can expose a few of their other bigots,” Schwartz tweeted after the story was covered in a Breitbart article. “Lots more where this came from.”

“Operatives have closely examined more than a decade’s worth of public posts and statements by journalists, the people familiar with the operation said,” wrote the New York Times in an article about the “loose network” of Trump allies targeting journalists.

“Only a fraction of what the network claims to have uncovered has been made public, the people said, with more to be disclosed as the 2020 election heats up. The research is said to extend to members of journalists’ families who are active in politics, as well as liberal activists and other political opponents of the president.”

Critics argue Schwartz’ operation is at best an inappropriate attack on journalists for simply doing their job, and at worst a move to undermine the democratic necessity of a free press that can freely scrutinize powerful figures.

Schwartz allies disagree: “Two can play at this game,” former Trump aide Sam Nunberg told the New York Times. “The media has long targeted Republicans with deep dives into their social media, looking to caricature all conservatives and Trump voters as racists.”

Trump’s attack on the free press as “fake news” has been a central pillar of his political strategy, allowing him to dismiss unfavorable coverage with his base.

“Our real opponent is not the Democrats, or the dwindling number of Republicans that lost their way and got left behind,” Trump tweeted on Monday. “Our primary opponent is the Fake News Media. In the history of our Country, they have never been so bad!”

If you enjoyed this article, please consider supporting independent news and getting our newsletter three times a week.

Tags:
Peter Castagno

Peter Castagno is a freelance writer with a Master’s degree in International Conflict Resolution. He has traveled throughout the Middle East and Latin America to gain firsthand insight in some of the world’s most troubled areas, and he plans on publishing his first book in 2019.

    1

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.