The media is facing an existential threat from the Trump campaign. I have a suggestion on how ‘they’ should deal with it.

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Trump has revoked the press credentials for the Washington Post and many other news outlets.

The Post joins a growing number of media outlets that have been similarly blacklisted by the campaign. Over at Gawker, Gabrielle Bluestone runs down the list of those affected. Gawker itself is on the list, as is The Huffington Post. There’s also Politico, BuzzFeed, National Review, The New York Times, The Des Moines Register, Mother Jones, The Daily Beast, Univision and The New Tri-State Defender.

Marty Baron, the washington Post editor wrote this:

“Donald Trump’s decision to revoke The Washington Post’s press credentials is nothing less than a repudiation of the role of a free and independent press,” Baron wrote in a statement. “When coverage doesn’t correspond to what the candidate wants it to be, then a news organization is banished. The Post will continue to cover Donald Trump as it has all along – honorably, honestly, accurately, energetically, and unflinchingly. We’re proud of our coverage, and we’re going to keep at it.”

The Shorenstein Center at Harvard’s Kennedy School estimates the media has given Trump $55 million worth of free coverage thus far. The New York Times estimates Trump’s free coverage at close to $2 billion.

It is easy to be an armchair critic of the media but they are not helpless. I suggest that until Trump respects the role and constitutional protections of a free press, the media collectively refuse to use their press credentials and refuse to give him more free media. It is entirely possible that organizations like Fox News and Brietbart won’t play this game. It is also possible that a lack of attention from most mainstream media outlets would irritate Trump to the point that he might just reinstate press credentials for all media requesting them. I suggest that the media stand together and call his bluff. They really have more power than he does in this. Time for them to stand together to stand up to this bully. They could stage a media event and all turn in their credentials until Trump agrees to respect them. Imagine a Trump ‘news’ conference with not many reporters and no real questions.

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