Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 31 n° 229

The White House responds to NYT report on Trump money

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 8 ottobre 2018

By Pete Vernon. President Trump called it “old, boring and often told.” Sarah Sanders labeled it “a totally false attack, based on an old recycled news story.” Charles Harder, the president’s lawyer, threatened to sue. But when Donald Trump’s press secretary was asked to name anything in The New York Times’s blockbuster story that was specifically inaccurate, she drew a blank.
To any objective observer, the 14,000 words of deeply investigated work that rolled off the New York Times printing presses on Wednesday morning, splashed across eight pages of the front section, were nothing short of extraordinary. David Barstow, Susanne Craig, and Russ Buettner spent more than a year digging through documents and interviewing key sources to authoritatively answer a simple question: What’s the actual truth about how Donald Trump got rich? Their conclusion, presented in painstaking detail, boils down to one major source of the president’s wealth: his father. The report details how Trump, his siblings, and their father utilized dubious tax schemes, including outright fraud, and revealed that the president is far from the self-made man he has claimed to be.Despite the administration’s protests, it was packed with new information, and lauded by journalists across the industry the day after it hit the Web. David Cay Johnston, the Pulitzer-winning investigative journalist whose 2017 scoop on Trump’s taxes was at least partially responsible for getting the Times investigation started, tells me that the Times journalists went far beyond any previous coverage of Trump’s wealth. “I’ve spent years on this,” he said. “Tim O’Brien, the historian Gwenda Blair, the late Wayne Barrett—we’ve all had little pieces of this. [But] this is light years beyond where we ever got.”CJR Editor and Publisher Kyle Pope praises the Times for embracing the long game, publishing a report that “transcends the headlines of the day, focusing on an elemental, fundamental aspect of this man and this presidency that, it turns out, is even more divorced from our common understanding than we might have previously thought. It is an example of journalism as long game, a sport that more of us need to be playing.” For those who hand-wave the piece’s conclusions by claiming it simply tells us things we already knew about Trump’s business dealings, Pope offers a rebuttal: “In fact, you didn’t know it,” he writes. “You thought it. You believed it. You intuited it. But that’s entirely different from having the raw information to back your theory up, to actually show, thanks to months of hard work, how it’s true and what it means.” Explicit in the Times’s story is a criticism of previous reporting—including by the Times itself—that was overly credulous, allowing Trump to create and burnish the fiction that his wealth was self-made, the result of “a small loan” from his father and years of hard work. The reckoning with previous reporting on Trump-as-deal-maker is a story that deserves more reflection, especially from outlets like the New York Post who often served as launderers for Trump’s own tips. As the Times report makes clear, Trump was bailed out again and again by his father, supported to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, and aside from a handful of reporters, for decades no one seemed to care.


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