Boo Hoo for David Cay, eh?

David Cay Johnston, the journalist who first got President Trump’s year 2005 tax return, accused the White House of unfairly distributing his find to other reporters this week.

In a radio interview Thursday, Johnston said the White House didn’t play by journalistic rules when it put out a combative statement to other media outlets to undercut Johnston’s reporting, rather than talking directly with him.

“Instead, they — first of all, and this is to anybody in the news business totally unethical — they took my exclusive story before it went up at DC Report, which is my website, DC Report,” he said on SiriusXM. “They went and gave it to other reporters, that’s just — you don’t do that. I’ve never had a company or a White House all the way back to Nixon do anything within a million miles of that and then they acknowledged the [tax] document but they had this nasty statement that they put out. And they never officially got back to me. They put out a statement, which tells you this really got under Donald Trump’s skin.”

You’re opposing him David. All’s fair…..

“I mean, Donald Trump is a very immature personality and if somebody else had sent [questions to the White House over the tax documents], he may have reacted differently. Perhaps it’s because of me. In fact, I think it’s because of me that he responded, Joe, in this way of attacking and making these false claims.”

Yeah…..

It is all about the journalist, isn’t it?

31 comments on “Boo Hoo for David Cay, eh?

  1. They really do expect to be able to piss on his neck and have him ask to borrow an umbrella because it appears to be raining.

  2. ‘first got his 2005 tax return’? How did he ‘get’ it? Can we expect investigation and arrest?

  3. Is there a video of this somewhere? I’ve read the original to which Timmy has linked by my imagination isn’t up to the task of overlaying the outraged petulance which must have accompanied the delivery of this mighty philippic in defence of the fourth estate.

  4. “totally unethical”

    You’re writing a story based on a document that was probably obtained illegally, but even if not, its his tax return. it’s a private matter..

    And I would do exactly the same thing as The Donald in this situation. “How do I ruin this fucker’s day?”. Well, you print it yourself and kill the “scoop” money.

    What the hell do these people expect after how they treated him? You were against him, he won without you. You’ve now leaked his tax return. You think he’s going to be happy with that?

  5. BiW, I presume his mere possession is a felony. I don’t care where he got it, prosecute him.

    Betcha he then reveals where he got it, being an intrepid member of the fourth estate.

  6. Bloke in Wiltshire – “You’re writing a story based on a document that was probably obtained illegally, but even if not, its his tax return. it’s a private matter..”

    The mainstream media refused to run the East Anglia climategate e-mails because they were “stolen”. Now it seems the rules have changed.

  7. Slightly off-topic – apparently funding is being massively cut for climate change research.

    Watch the press work themselves up into a fury and then the WH to say “You’ve been telling us for almost 20 years now that the science is settled. Why are we still spending billions on something that its proponents say is settled?”

  8. “The mainstream media refused to run the East Anglia climategate e-mails because they were “stolen”. Now it seems the rules have changed.”

    Private Eye didn’t mention them at all, despite there being plenty to satirise in them.

    Not one word.

    That was when I cancelled my subscription.

  9. “BiW, I presume his mere possession is a felony. I don’t care where he got it, prosecute him.”

    I don’t think Trump will. Too much of a waste of time.

    But all this sort of stuff is unethical. It’s like the Sony leak. Journalists were commenting on the content. I’m not saying there isn’t a point at which you reveal private matters, but it was just standard movie business stuff.

  10. Abacab’s OT comment on MMGW:

    “You’ve been telling us for almost 20 years now that the science is settled. Why are we still spending billions on something that its proponents say is settled?”

    Oh, that’s good. That’s very good. I can see myself using that.

  11. If all politicians do what Trump did, then journalists won’t bother to give them a chance to comment before publishing the story. Assuming you agree that that would be a bad outcome, it explains why Trump’s action was “unethical” (FSVO).

  12. @Cynic – thanks. That reply would put people in a lose-lose situation: either they need the money, at which point they’ve got to split hairs about exactly what they consider to be settled or not and why (and they go down a rabbit hole of details and get tuned out by most people), or it’s settled and they don’t need the money.

    The whole “Master Persuader” thing that Scott Adams talks about.

  13. @Spiro – to go back to my neck-pissing / umbrella analogy, they really, really expect to be asked for that umbrella before publishing the story. Cos a RINO would have asked for it.

  14. Spiro Ozer :
    “If all politicians do what Trump did, then journalists won’t bother to give them a chance to comment before publishing the story. Assuming you agree that that would be a bad outcome”

    In Europe it would also be a breach of human rights to require notification prior to publication..

    in 2009 Mosley brought a case (Mosley v United Kingdom) against the UK’s privacy laws in the European Court of Human Rights, in a bid to force newspapers to warn people before exposing their private lives so they could have the opportunity to seek a court injunction. The case was rejected by the court on 10 May 2011 as they argued that a “pre-notification requirement would inevitably affect political reporting and serious journalism.”

  15. “Cos a RINO would have asked for it.”

    I’m thinking RYNO now, with Ryan’s Health Care idiocy.

  16. Hallowed Be “In Europe it would also be a breach of human rights to require notification prior to publication.”

    Nobody’s talking about requiring anything. Just journalistic custom and practice conducted according to an accepted code of ethics (again FSVO). In other words, “If you play by the rules with us, we’ll return the compliment. If you stuff us, we’ll stuff you.”

    PS abacab I can’t understand your comment.

  17. @spiro – RINO = Republican In Name Only. The umbrella thing is derived from the phrase “don’t piss on my neck and tell me it’s raining”.

  18. “If you play by the rules with us, we’ll return the compliment. If you stuff us, we’ll stuff you.”

    The likes of David Cay Johnston have been trying to stuff Trump for the last couple of years. So he’s just returning the compliment.

  19. Spiro –
    “Nobody’s talking about requiring anything.”
    It was a subtler point than that.
    There are good journalistic reasons for not making the practice of prior notification of stories a rule. Hint! Rich Billionaires would love this rule. If they get notice, they can get a judge to gag it.

    As we don’t want to enshrine this practice into law, we are left with following an agreed practice for that pillar of ethics: mutual long term benefit.

    So as i commented in the other post we’re in the realm of game theory.

    “If you play by the rules with us, we’ll return the compliment. If you stuff us, we’ll stuff you.” Correct as Jools would say that seems to be the situation.

    Where there’s mutual benefit you might expect co-operation but where’s there’s mistrust or enmity or short term gain for one party then it very often breaks down because its very likely someone’s going to get shafted.

    But is it Trump necessarily the one to get shafted out of this new situation. I’m not so sure. He’s probably just wishing for somebody to get something horribly wrong so he can sue the beJaysus out of them. And by putting it back into the court of the publishers sure he’s raised the stakes but i guess that’s how he likes it. Because one of the reasons for contacting someone in advance is to protect yourself from libel, and even in US that’s still something to think about.

  20. meiac –
    His legal affairs are not the best part of his brand.

    He’s extremely litigious that’s for sure, so win or lose that can be all you need. Yet to be seen how he’ll handle all that in office. I guess they’ll file something but where possible delay hearings till he’s not president anymore.

  21. I don’t know about the USA but AIUI here in the U.K. quite a lot of time is spent in dispute over large construction projects, often ending in the courts.

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