— Marty Baron (@PostBaron) June 13, 2016
The appearance is that Trump is bullying the media, and that certainly is Trump’s intent. But access to candidate events is a punishment, not a privilege.
The best watchdog journalism doesn’t happen in the pack following candidates and reporting every ridiculous and racist statement Trump makes. Besides, Trump is as likely to make news in his tweets (which are available to anyone) as he is when he speaks (and it’s not tough to find out what he’s said; lot’s of media cover that).
In fact the Post story that set Trump off didn’t result from access to a candidate event. It came from watching an interview on TV and accurately reporting the candidate’s obvious implication (he hates that).
Watchdog journalism doesn’t require access. That’s for mouthpiece journalism. The least significant part of the New York Times story about Trump’s plundering and blundering in Atlantic City was the interviews with Trump. The candidate’s refusal to do an interview had no impact on the Post’s story on Trump collecting huge bonuses as his company’s stock tanked.
You know which Washington Post reporters didn’t have or need access to the actual president? Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.