ATTN MEDIA: The Gateway Pundit Was Credentialed for Trump Press Conferences and Rallies During Campaign

The mainstream media is having a collective fit at the presence of The Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft and Lucian Wintrich at the White House this week. Yet all last year The Gateway Pundit was credentialed to cover press conferences and rallies by then candidate Donald Trump without incident or outrage from the media.

A sample of the Trump press passes issued to The Gateway Pundit’s Kristinn Taylor during the 2016 campaign. Photo by Kristinn Taylor.

As The Gateway Pundit’s Florida Man, this writer was credentialed for Trump press conferences at Mar-a-Lago and at Trump Jupiter International as well as many campaign rallies throughout Florida in the primary and general elections and the post-election ‘Thank you’ rally last December in Orlando.

Kristinn Taylor ‘selfie’ at Trump Florida victory press event at Mar-a-Lago, March 15, 2016.

President-elect Trump ‘Thank you’ tour, Orlando, FL, December 16, 2016, photo by Kristinn Taylor.

Reports were filed at TGP and photos and video clips were posted to Twitter just as any other person covering the campaign events did. The photos got better in the fall with the purchase of a camera with a decent telephoto lens.

Link to live report from Boca Raton FL, March 13, 2016.

I should have won a Pulitzer for this photo from the Boca Raton rally.

A sample of telephoto lens photos.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump bids farewell at Lakeland, FL rally Oct 12, 2016 Photo by Kristinn Taylor

Donald Trump speaks at Lakeland, FL rally Oct 12, 2016

Trump speaks at Lakleand, FL rally Oct 12, 2016

Over the course of the year I met up with old friends and acquaintances in the media from my days as a conservative activist with FreeRepublic.com based in Washington, D.C. I also had occasion to make new acquaintances with reporters covering the Trump campaign. In a conversation in the media pen with then campaign manager Corey Lewandowski I made clear I was there to report and not be a cheerleader. The coverage ended up being positive as that was the constant vibe from the events.

No one in the media questioned my being there, nor did I give them grief for their reporting. What I saw in the media pen was hard working men and women trying to document the rallies in real time and on the fly. Sure there was bias from some reporters. But most were professionals putting in long hours in a long campaign covering an unorthodox candidate who was totally unpredictable.

I did not witness much abuse of the press from Trump supporters and came to believe the fears expressed by some reporters were overblown and came from bias or inexperience. A few people vented at the press, but most just wanted the press to see and report on their support for Trump, especially women who supported Trump. In the fall, after every rally hundreds of Trump supporters peaceably paraded by the media pen proudly holding their Trump signs high.

As for how I came to cover the campaign? I filled out the media request form at the campaign website. I had no special hook at first, though I did get help a few times from Hope Hicks when the event staffers at the check-in table left early or traffic made me a few minutes late and twice when my application was initially turned down.

I wasn’t called on by Trump at the few press conferences I attended in Florida. However, I did come close when he stopped right in front of me to take questions from CNN’s Sara Murray after one press conference that turned infamous over Michelle Fields’ fallacious charge of being assaulted by Corey Lewandowski. My video of Lewandowski moving in front of me calling an end to questions was the only video of him in action that night that was published until the surveillance video of the Fields incident was released.

Even though I was mere feet away from the alleged assault on Fields, I saw and heard nothing–nor was there any reaction by those nearby that indicated a violent assault on a reporter had taken place. After Trump had left I heard no one speak about the alleged assault even though I was there for about an hour talking with reporters.

The mainstream media in Washington is acting outraged at the presence of The Gateway Pundit at White House press conferences. Unlike the mainstream media, The Gateway Pundit (and contributors like myself) is up front about its bias and owns up to its mistakes in reporting (mistakes which pale in number and frequency to the daily corrections at the New York Times, for example.)

The Trump administration should be applauded for opening the White House press corps to not just bloggers but to outlets all across the country.

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