Eric Trump's attempt to humiliate a Washington Post reporter just blew up in his face

Eric Trump's attempt to humiliate a Washington Post reporter just blew up in his face
ABC News

Eric Trump apparently has no clue how journalism works.


In an attempt to shame Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold — one of the most dogged people covering the Trump family business and erstwhile "charitable" foundation — the president's son shared an email the journalist sent to a Trump Organization employee.

He suggested sarcastically that Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and owner of the Post, should be "proud" of the journalistic tactic involved, implying that there was something duplicitous about the email:

But there was absolutely nothing damning or dubious in the email at all. It was cordial and respectful, being entirely frank about his intent and opening up avenues for the employee to explore if he has information to share confidentially. This is an ideal example of how investigative journalists do their jobs. It's often painstaking work that involves pursuing countless dead ends, and it's the kind of work Fahrenthold is known for executing to tremendous success. (He even won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on the Trump Foundation.)

It's not clear what Eric Trump actually thought was objectionable, except maybe the idea that Fahrenthold was offering to speak "on background" or use secure lines of communication. But typically, when the president's defenders criticize anonymously sourced reporting, they suggest that these sources are fake. Offering protections to genuine sources is widely accepted journalistic practice — for good reason.

Instead of humiliating Fahrenthold, Eric Trump just revealed more of the process behind his scrupulous work. And he showed himself to be completely ignorant of how the news media actually functions.

Observers on Twitter quickly pointed out how ridiculous the president's son tweet made him look:

#story_page_post_article

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.