PEN America excoriates President Donald Trump for demanding the dismissal of Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel after Weigel erroneously tweeted a photo and message suggesting that Trump's Pensacola rally was sparsely attended (it was actually full).
On Friday night, President Donald Trump held a rally in Pensacola, Florida.
Trump also demanded Weigel apologize for publishing a photo of the empty arena as it had been made hours before the president's arrival and many people had not come yet.
A short time later, Weigel quoted Trump's tweet and wrote "Packed to the rafters", attaching a photo that showed hundreds of available seats in the lower and upper levels.
Weigel, who said he deleted the photo after about 20 minutes, wrote, "Sure thing: I apologize". I deleted the photo after David Martosko of Daily Mail told me I'd gotten it wrong.
But an apology was apparently not enough, because Trump nearly immediately mischaracterized what Weigel had said and called for him to be fired from the Washington Post.More news: Time's Person of the Year: 'Silence Breakers' speaking out against sexual harassment
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CNN also found itself Trump's target when the president blasted the outlet Saturday for reporting Friday that Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., received an email on September 4, 2016, offering him WikiLeaks documents obtained through the Democratic National Committee hack. "Their slogan should be CNN, THE LEAST TRUSTED NAME IN NEWS!"
"Oh thank you, CNN, thank you so much. Give their place to a more deserving media outlet", News.com.au reported. "Watch to see if @CNN fires those responsible, or was it just gross incompetence?"
Although everyone knows (and any exceptions do not include political journalists) that Trump's Friday night rally in Pensacola, Florida, was another jam-packed event with a near-capacity crowd of 12,000, Weigel appeared to be under the impression that the media has not already suffered enough of a black eye this week.
"They took this fraudster from ABC they suspended him for a month", Trump continued, referring to ABC News reporter Brian Ross's erroneous report that Michael Flynn was directed to contact Russian officials during the campaign. Trump asked the crowd.
It was at that rally that Trump seized on the CNN mistake. "You should have been apologizing for the last two years".