The continuously escalating COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a need for President Trump to be truthful and to drop his compulsion to spread misinformation. Unfortunately, any effort to hold the president accountable is met with insults and derision. Journalist Yamiche Alcindor has recently taken the brunt of the president’s attacks and now both the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and Journalism & Women Symposium (JAWS) have come to her defense.
The organizations have issued a joint statement condemning the president’s treatment of Alcindor and other women journalists of color. Alcindor, in particular, has been pressing Trump on his comments about coronavirus.
From the statement:
When Alcindor pressed Trump at a March 29 briefing about his statement that some states might not need as many medical ventilators as they had requested to treat COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) patients, Trump interrupted her several times and told her “Be nice. Don’t be threatening.”
A couple of weeks ago, Trump also called Alcindor’s question “nasty” when she asked him about the Trump administration’s closing of the pandemic response unit within the National Security Council in 2018.
Instead of simply answering her questions and taking responsibility for what he’s said and done, Trump looked for praise and called her questions “mean,” which is an odd complaint coming from a man who’s Twitter account is just one long, bad attempt at a Comedy Central roast of America.
The statement goes on to point out that this is not a new development but rather a continued pattern, highlighting previous times the president has been dismissive and downright insulting to women journalists, particularly those of color.
As far back as November 2018, Trump leveled verbal abuse at Alcindor along with fellow Black women journalists Abby Phillip of CNN and April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks. NABJ condemned these attacks in a statement here and JAWS condemned these attacks in a statement here. Both groups have noted the president’s pattern of using demeaning language toward women journalists of color and other journalists.
Even with the lives of Americans at stake, Trump can’t help but spread lies, shift blame and insult reporters for doing their job. Props to Alcindor, because no matter how petty or low the president stoops, she doesn’t back down or become deterred. Unlike the president, she’s damn good at her job.