Donald Trump Blocking Iowa Newspaper From Rally Raises Questions

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Questions have been raised after two journalists were initially denied entry to a Donald Trump campaign event in Iowa this week.

Lisa Grouette, a journalist for Iowa’s Globe Gazette, said on Monday that she had been denied media entry to Trump’s event being held on Friday in Mason City.

“I just reapplied for credentials for me and our political reporter, but as it sits, it looks like, without any explanation, we’re not being allowed to cover the Trump rally in Mason City on Friday,” Grouette wrote on X, formerly Twitter, sharing a screenshot of the denial email. The email did not offer an explanation as to why both reporters were being denied entry to the event.

“This is a first, as we’ve been able to cover Republican candidates Hutchinson, Ramaswamy, Haley, DeSantis, Bergum, and Binkley. Hoping this was just an oversight,” she added.

A day later, Grouette said her request was granted, and she was “still not sure why they would have been denied in the first place.”

A spokesperson for the Trump campaign told Newsweek: “What the f*** are you even talking about?” They added: “We have Globe Gazette reporters at our events.”

There have long been concerns over the former president’s treatment of journalists and what a second term would look like.

NGO Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemned then-President Trump strongly during the Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of George Floyd’s killing in 2020.

Numerous incidents were recorded of reporters being either assaulted, arrested, or having their equipment damaged, according to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker. RSF Secretary-General Christophe Deloire said at the time that “Trump’s demonization of the media for years has now come to fruition.”

Last month, RSF said it was “appalled” by Trump saying in an interview with Sean Hannity that he would not be a dictator if he were reelected to the presidency, “except for Day One.”

“RSF demands an immediate apology and retraction from Mr. Trump and urges Americans, regardless of political affiliation, to reject this authoritarian impulse that threatens the right to information,” the organization said in a statement.

It also cited Trump’s comments at a November rally in Texas in November 2022 in which he joked about jailing reporters who don’t reveal their sources.

Then-President Donald Trump speaks to reporters at the White House on November 20, 2020. An Iowa journalist said she was denied credentials to an upcoming Trump rally.
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

According to the Press Freedom Tracker, there were 633 recorded assaults against journalists in 2020, the final year of Trump’s presidency—a major spike compared to the years immediately before and after.

A further 147 were recorded in 2021 before a drastic decrease to 33 in 2022. Recorded assaults were higher in 2023, at 45 in total, compared to 42 in 2019.

Former National Security Council official during the Trump administration, Kash Patel told Steve Bannon on his War Room podcast last month that “We’re going to come after” members of the media “who lied about American citizens who helped Joe Biden rig presidential elections.”

There is no evidence that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.

“We’re going to come after you, whether it’s criminally or civilly. We’ll figure that out. But yeah, we’re putting you all on notice,” Patel said. Patel was not speaking on Trump’s behalf.

Trump has singled out news outlets like NBC News and MSNBC, suggesting their coverage should be restricted.

“I say up front, openly, and proudly, that when I WIN the Presidency of the United States, they and others of the LameStream Media will be thoroughly scrutinized for their knowingly dishonest and corrupt coverage of people, things, and events,” Trump wrote in a Truth Social post in September.

“Why should NBC, or any other of the corrupt & dishonest media companies, be entitled to use the very valuable Airwaves of the USA, FREE? They are a true threat to Democracy and are, in fact, THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE! The Fake News Media should pay a big price for what they have done to our once great Country.”