On Tuesday, a bombshell report dropped in the New York Times that gave a detailed and damning account of the machinations behind President Donald Trump’s immigration policy. Most explosive of all, the report found that Trump told officials that they should be shooting migrants in the legs to slow them down during commotion at the border, contrary to U.S. law.
It was remarkable reporting that appeared to expose Trump’s brutality, ignorance of the law, disdain for human rights, and abuse of power. Arguably, the direction is an impeachable offense in its own right. But in light of the importance of the claims it contained, the piece also inspired sharp criticism.
The conversations the reporters Michael Shear and Julie Davis described in the story took place in March 2019 — but they were only published now, at the beginning of October. It’s not clear when the reporters learned of the most serious details in the piece, but the report is actually an adapted excerpt of their upcoming book, “Border Wars: Inside Trump’s Assault on Immigration,” which will be published on Oct. 8 — in one week. And some of the findings the excerpt confirms, such as Trump ordering border agents to break the law and deny entry to asylum-seekers, have previously been reported months ago.
All this strongly suggests that the Shear and Davis have had the information about Trump’s direction that migrants be shot in the legs, but they have been waiting to make it public until it would be advantageous for their book’s publication. Reporters keeping major details of their reporting a secret until publication of a book is quite common, but especially in this case, many argued that it should be unacceptable as a matter of journalistic ethics.
If you have pertinent, alarming, and corroborated information about the most powerful man in the world, some claimed, you have an obligation to make it public as soon as possible. You shouldn’t sit on it in order to optimize your book’s marketing.
Read some of the criticisms below:
gonna go ahead and say that if you know the president said in a meeting that we should be shooting migrants in the legs “to slow them down” you should not be saving that for whenever you book is scheudled to come out! https://t.co/5Da43LHwR7
— Ashley Feinberg (@ashleyfeinberg) October 1, 2019
No one should buy this book. Journos who sit on mega stories so they can hawk books should be shunned. They cease to be journalists. He sat on it for months. https://t.co/PpBDbW6waj
— David M. Perry (@Lollardfish) October 1, 2019
This is a serious point. I understand people want to sell books, but I would argue that journalists have an ethical responsibility to not sit on material that directly bears on Trump’s fitness for office. https://t.co/fyyq0NR59l
— Brendan Nyhan (@BrendanNyhan) October 2, 2019
What’s the journalistic ethics of sitting on a story like this? In a news cycle that moves so fast and seemingly without consequence for Trump, I’m not sure it matters, but it feels off to hold a story like this for a book. https://t.co/KYXXcI2NVK
— Emily M. Farris (@emayfarris) October 2, 2019
‘Your hair is fabricated’: Trump blasted as a ‘dictator desperate to hold onto power’ after his ‘admission of guilt’ tweet
President Donald Trump was clearly fixated on the impeachment inquiry, with his official Twitter account blasting out a dozen different attacks into his administration's solicitation of foreign election interference.
Trump started his morning on Twitter with a traditional Veterans' Day welcome but quickly began tweeting about the vaping industry, the election loss by Gov. Matt Bevin (R-KY), one day after a Trump rally and who won the Schwab Cup golf tournament.
But impeachment was clearly his obsession on Monday.
Shifty Adam Schiff will only release doctored transcripts. We haven’t even seen the documents and are restricted from (get this) having a lawyer. Republicans should put out their own transcripts! Schiff must testify as to why he MADE UP a statement from me, and read it to all!
Deval Patrick considering a last-minute presidential bid: report
Yet another Democrat is considering a late entry into the 2020 presidential campaign.
"Former Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts has told Democratic officials that he is considering making a last-minute entry into the 2020 presidential race, according to two Democrats with knowledge of the conversations, the latest evidence of how unsettled the party’s presidential primary is less than three months before the Iowa caucuses," The New York Times reported Monday.
‘Vote my conscience on Donald J Trump’: Neil Young seeking US citizenship to vote in 2020 but marijuana use causes problems
Canadian music legend Neil Young says he has applied for US citizenship to be able to vote next year, but his use of marijuana is complicating things.
Young, who is 73, said on his website Friday that he had managed to pass a citizenship exam in which he answered honestly the questions posed to him.
He said he has to undergo another test because he smokes pot.
US authorities said in April that people seeking citizenship may not be involved in "certain marijuana related activities" even if even if they are legal in the state where they live or their country of origin, the singer-song writer wrote.