Returning Aug. 24
"I have covered Donald Trump off and on for 27 years — including breaking the story that in 1990, when he claimed to be worth $3 billion but could not pay interest on loans coming due, his bankers put his net worth at minus $295 million,"David Cay Johnston wrote for the National Memo on July 10.
"And so I have closely watched what Trump does and what government documents reveal about his conduct.
"Reporters, competing Republican candidates, and voters would learn a lot about Trump if they asked for complete answers to these 21 questions. . . ."
Johnston, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter, discussed his questions for Trump on Wednesday on Pacifica Radio's "Democracy Now!"
He told host Amy Goodman, "What I don't understand, Amy, is not one major news organization has even tried to check these things out. I got one phone call from The Washington Post about this piece, '21 Questions for Donald Trump.' Nothing has appeared. And that's because, in this country, politics reporters cover the horse race, and they do not vet the candidates the way they should. And Trump, if vetted properly, would quickly disappear from the polls. . . ."
Johnston's "21 Questions" piece continued:
"So, Mr. Trump…
"1. You call yourself an 'ardent philanthropist,' but have not donated a dollar to The Donald J. Trump Foundation since 2006. You're not even the biggest donor to the foundation, having given about $3.7 million in the previous two decades while businesses associated with Vince McMahon's World Wrestling Entertainment gave the Trump Foundation $5 million. All the money since 2006 has come from those doing business with you.
"How does giving away other people's money, in what could be seen as a kickback scheme, make you a philanthropist? . . ."
Lee A. Daniels, National Newspaper Publishers Association: Trump's Trump Card: The Conservative Mob
- Editorial, Daily News, New York: This is Trumpistan: Donald Trump's ignorant, dangerous immigration proposals would decimate the American economy and pit the nation against itself
Allen Johnson, News & Record, Greensboro, N.C.: With Trump, it seems, no bad deed goes unrewarded (Aug. 10)
Ruben Navarrette Jr., Washington Post Writers Group: Trump's response vindicated Kelly’s questioning(Aug. 11)
- Ruben Navarrette Jr., Washington Post Writers Group: The Trump trap
Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune: Trump thumps himself (Aug. 7)
- Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune: Trump, Sanders managing political angers(Aug. 11)
- Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: The rise of Donald Trump is evidence that our political system isn't working(Aug. 10)
"Mexican journalist Ricardo Chávez Aldana was leaving his home, his job, and his country behind as he hurried across the border into El Paso, Texas in December 2009,"Allison Griner reported Monday for Columbia Journalism Review.
"Chávez had been covering drug cartels and corruption for Radio Cañón in Ciudad Juárez, and he believed that his reporting had made him and his family targets for cartel retaliation. His two teenage nephews had just been murdered. His family was receiving death threats, and he feared further violence.
"So he and his wife and children slipped across the Bridge of the Americas from Mexico into the United States. There, at the El Paso border crossing, they asked for political asylum and received a six-month humanitarian visa.
"Five and a half years later, his asylum case is still winding its way through the US Immigration Court in El Paso. Chávez had his final hearing before a judge last month. He now awaits a written decision."
Chavez was one of three Mexican journalists who appeared before the National Association of Hispanic Journalists in 2011 urging the U.S. government to speed up approval of their asylum requests.
Griner continued, "Chávez is part of an ever-growing population of journalists forced into exile by fear of persecution. In June, the Committee to Protect Journalists' annual 'Journalists in Exile' report tallied 82 new cases in the past year alone, based on cases in its Journalist Assistance Program, which offers aid and legal support to vulnerable journalists and their families. The actual number of exiled journalists worldwide might in fact be much higher.
"Reporters Without Borders released its own statistics late last year, indicating a 106 percent increase in exiled journalists between 2013 and 2014. It counted 139 professional journalists and 20 citizen journalists who had fled their home countries, fearing reprisals for their reporting.
"Forced exile is 'as violent an aggression against press freedom as imprisoning journalists,' said María Salazar-Ferro, coordinator of CPJ’s Journalist Assistance Program.
"'It’s a very easy, very underreported way of silencing critical voices,' she said. 'You send someone somewhere else where, yes, they're able to survive, but they're not able to continue working, and they're most certainly not able to continue being critical.' In the last year, only 2 percent of journalists were able to continue working in exile. . . ."