In July we reported Rapoport had been on a trip to Asia, the same trip that included former Trump advisor Carter Page. It’s a trip Trump apparently didn’t know about, as there was no explanation of where it was, the people who went, or if a trip to Asia might put him out of step with many in the white nationalist community. An effort to call the trip, and others described in the story, an outing. But here was Rapoport, just a few months ago, traveling with former Trump advisor Page, meeting with people with ties to Trump, and reporting on their agenda. It was an incredibly important piece in a very important story, but with the possible exception of the Post breaking the story of the Obama White House’s contacts with Russia during the campaign, the media chose to pay short shrift to it.
But not Rapoport. He was on the White House beat for all of five months. While I reported the revelations we outlined in our piece, his name didn’t appear in the story at all. All of this only began to change after his departure. The mainstream media then began to cover our story, a story that revealed the nature of the trips with Page (one of the few white nationalists we knew of, who’s also a business partner with Steve Bannon), meetings with foreign leaders, and how Trump was using his office to move toward a white nationalist presidency. The White House was being questioned by The New York Times, The Washington Post, NBC News, ABC News, NPR’s news division, and many others. The media didn’t want to run the story, as they felt it would help alienate Trump. The story had to be kept away from mainstream media and Trump, who’s already done more than anyone to make the world a dangerous place for white people.
Some of the journalists who covered the story were among the most effective on CNN (and in The Post’s article). If CNN had run the story, it would have been a disaster for the outlet. It would have made The Post’s story seem insignificant and the Trumpian White House seem laughable, given Trump’s willingness to engage on such a public forum. The story did make mainstream media feel bad about failing to cover such a news conference and the ensuing controversy, but they had already taken action by ignoring many other stories they’d been covering. They were so convinced by their own work and their readers’ response that they decided to push the story and the controversy into the limelight. Even if it wasn’t good for the media, the public interest was served. The media took the news conference to showcase how well they covered an issue that’s an important issue, but their unwillingness to report the story made it seem as though they were trying to ignore it for their own financial benefit. But as the story went around the world, it had already been widely covered by the media. If the press hadn’t covered it in a major way, it just wouldn’t have caused much of a stir. It doesn’t need an internet circus to bring Americans and the world into focus. By then, it was a good story.
It was very disappointing to see how quickly The Post went to another scandal after The Post broke the story on China’s human rights abuses. But at the same time, that wasn’t a bad thing. Trump is more concerned with the Trump Foundation then his presidency. In a few months or a year, the post that the press should have gotten to covering the trip and the trip’s agenda became irrelevant.
And when you look at The Washington Post, they’re so desperate to try and sell their story that they’re trying to sell fake evidence and bogus stories. It’s sad. The newspaper was once an American institution, and they always put their best foot forward, always, always putting their best reporters there. I don’t know about you, but I know when I’m at my desk, I don’t want anyone in the newspaper to screw up. And in this election, The Washington Post lost.
So where do they go from here? Sure, the Trump Administration is already in the process of trying to delegitimize the media, but there has to be a better way than this. The mainstream media has plenty of work to do to turn Trump fans into people who won’t fall for this stuff, and to start winning again. That’s going to be hard, but it can be done.