This Reporter Just Won the Biggest Prize in Journalism for Exposing Trump’s Lies
by Jameson Parker –
The winners of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize have been announced and this year’s theme was all about exposing Trump.
Of particular note was the prize for National Reporting going to David A. Fahrenthold of The Washington Post, whose contribution to reporting during the presidential campaign was to unflinchingly go after Trump’s lies, particularly as they related to his contributions to charity.
As the Pulitzer committee put it, Fahrenthold deserved the award:
For persistent reporting that created a model for transparent journalism in political campaign coverage while casting doubt on Donald Trump’s assertions of generosity toward charities.
During a campaign when many reporters and pundits struggled to keep up with Trump’s lies, or pretended Trump wasn’t lying at all, Fahrenthold decided to hold Trump’s feet to the fire. After Trump repeatedly dodged questions about his donations to charity, Fahrenthold compiled an exhaustive list of charities Trump was said to have given money to and painstakingly eliminated each one. In the end, the reporting showed that Trump was perhaps one of the least charitable rich people in the country. He also ran down individual anecdotes exposing Trump has a showboating opportunist who cynically exploited charity events for PR but avoided giving any money.
In one example discovered by Fahrenthold, Trump stage crashed an event meant to honor donors, stole the seat of a legitimate donor and then left before anyone knew what had just happened.
“Nobody knew he was coming,” said Abigail Disney, another donor sitting on the dais. “There’s this kind of ruckus at the door, and I don’t know what was going on, and in comes Donald Trump. [He] just gets up on the podium and sits down.”
Trump was not a major donor. He was not a donor, period. He’d never given a dollar to the nursery or the Association to Benefit Children, according to Gretchen Buchenholz, the charity’s executive director then and now.
It is for exposing stories like this and others that Fahrenthold has become reviled in the Trump White House and in conservative circles. He does what fearless journalism has always done: Speak truth to power.
Hilariously, Fahrenthold isn’t the only person to win the prestigious award for his coverage of Trump. Miami Herald cartoonist Jim Morin earned a Pulitzer for equally biting criticism of Trump. To highlight the point, his latest cartoon is a particularly brutal take down of Trump.
And the New York Times took home the international reporting Pulitzer for coverage that also caused Trump no shortage of headaches. The paper exposed the rampant corruption and cruelty of the Putin regime in Russia. This made things extremely awkward for Trump. He, of course, benefited greatly from Putin’s willingness to undermine democracy – specifically America’s 2016 election. Trump has also praised the autocrat as a strong leader and at one time claimed him as a friend.
It’s extremely telling that so many of the top honors went to people who either directly or indirectly stood up to Trump’s administration – whether it be clear-eyed reporting on the corruption from within the White House or the disastrous effects of the policies they and their allies in Congress have forced upon the country. In dark days, fearless critical reporting is more valuable than ever. And with Trump already threatening to crank up censorship laws, it’s a rare and powerful commodity.
Reprinted with permission from Addicting Info