Washington Post distorts Trump-Ramos encounter

If Donald Trump believes that Fox News is treating him unfairly (and he does), I wonder how he feels about the Washington Post.

The print edition headline of a story on Trump’s Iowa new conference reads: “Trump kicks Latino reporter out of news conference.” (The online editors apparently thought better of it. They wrote: “Trump tangles with Latino newsman, launches fresh attacks on GOP rivals”).

The print edition sub-headline reads: “Univision’s Ramos later returns, spars with mogul on immigration.” Ramos “returned” because Team Trump permitted him to. He “sparred” with the “mogul” because Trump let him debate, something that few candidates (only Ted Cruz comes to mind) would have permitted.

The Post’s story, written by the tag team of Philip Rucker and Robert Costa, is manifestly biased against Trump. They describe Ramos’ ejection this way:

Ramos stood up in the front row of journalists to ask Trump about his plan to combat illegal immigration. But Trump did not want to answer.

“Excuse me,” Trump said. “Sit down. You weren’t called. Sit down.”

Ramos, holding a piece of paper, calmly said, “I’m a reporter, an immigrant, a senior citizen. I have the right to ask a question.”

Trump interrupted him. “Go back to Univision,” he said. Then Trump motioned to one of his bodyguards, who walked across the room and physically removed Ramos from the room.

The format of a press conference, as Rucker and Costa well know, is that reporters ask questions when they are called on, not when they feel like it. Ramos had no “right” to move ahead of other reporters with questions by seizing the floor.

(Ramos’ sense of entitlement is a perfect reflection of the illegal immigrant movement. Like Ramos, illegal immigrants jump to the head of the line. And their advocates hold that by virtue of their line-jumping, illegal immigrants should gain all the rights and privileges enjoyed not only by legal entrants but by American citizens.)

Rucker and Costa also fail to note that Ramos was ejected only because he refused to stop talking. If Trump wanted to conduct an orderly press conference in which each reporter waits his or her turn, he had no alternative to booting the obnoxious man from Univision.

Rucker and Costa are equally biased in their coverage of the lengthy exchange between Trump and Ramos. For example, they state: “at one point, Trump said ‘I can’t deal with this.'” True. But this was because Ramos repeatedly interrupted Trump’s answers. The Post-men would prefer that readers conclude Trump couldn’t deal with the substance of Ramos’ questioning.

Actually, Trump dealt with each of Ramos’ scattergun questions, but Rucker-Costa try to obscure this fact. They claim that Trump responded to questions about polls showing him to be unpopular among Hispanics by asking “How much am I suing Univision for right now?”

Actually, Trump responded by citing a Nevada poll that shows him leading among Hispanic Republicans. Because the Nevada poll was of Republicans, it doesn’t defeat Ramos’ claim that Trump is unpopular among Hispanics generally.

But Rucker and Costa want readers to believe that Trump ducked the polling question and resorted to bluster about his lawsuit. That wasn’t the case.

We can’t expect the Post to cover Trump, or any other serious GOP candidate, fairly. But we might have hoped for better than the Rucker-Costa report on yesterday’s news conference.