NYT Reporter Whines About Getting Booted from Trump Rally, But Here's the Reason Why She Was


If you want your daily dose of Trump-related confirmation bias, Kathy Gray is the perfect delivery system for it.

Gray is a reporter for The New York Times who was sent to cover President Donald Trump’s Thursday rally in Freeland, Michigan. She made it clear before she began that she was against the whole spectacle — although, of course, she was only quoting politicians.

The fact she only quoted politicians who don’t like Trump was totally incidental.

For instance, “The Biggest threat to the American people is the president right now. I don’t relish saying that, says @GovWhitmer.”

Or this quote about Trump’s rally: “From [Michigan Democrat] @RepDanKildee on the prospect of the rally in Freeland, Michigan tonight: Donald trump is a clown who simply wants to get himself reelected, even if it puts his supporters at risk.”

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And then a retweet of that thought along with, “MBS International Airport in Freeland is preparing for 3,000 to 5,000 people for the Trump hangar rally [tonight].”

A bit later, she tweeted pics of the crowd, including a now-deleted one where she noted the number of people without masks.

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After the faux concern and the snark came your dose of confirmation bias.

“I’ve just been kicked out of the trump rally,” she tweeted, according to The Hill.

“First for me: Trump campaign tracked me down from pics i tweeted and escorted me out,” she added in a subsequent tweet.

From all of this, you’ve already constructed a narrative in your head:

New York Times reporter arrives at a Trump rally, armed only with an askance view on the whole thing and a determination to bring America the unvarnished truth. She takes a photo of maskless people while out among the crowd, tweets that only 10 percent of the crowd has masks, and boom — Trump’s goons track her down inside the media area and force her to leave.

If you’re the unquestioning type, you can stop here. However, maybe you just noticed something a bit curious about that narrative: “Wait, you said she was tracked down inside the media area, right? But she was tweeting photos while out among the crowd.”

Well, no. I didn’t quite say that.

“Oh. So she took those pictures of the maskless crowd from the media area?”

No, not quite.

“Well, OK. That likely means she was out with the crowd.”

I’d say that’s a fair assumption, yes.

“Ah, all right. So she had credentials to report both in the audience and from the media area?”

No, that’s not quite it.

“That’s a bit strange. I’m guessing she had media credentials but she decided to go out into the crowd to take her shots, even though she wasn’t authorized to do that. The Trump people got her then, didn’t they?”

I’ll give you a hint: This all assumes Kathy Gray had credentials to report from the event.

As she tweeted her ejection from the Michigan rally, Gray skipped over a few steps that might have been crucial to the reader’s understanding.

While she was there, she wasn’t credentialed to cover the event. A Trump campaign spokesman told The Hill that Gray hadn’t obtained a media pass “through the normal process.”

She was allowed in the general admission section provided she didn’t report. She refused to comply. Ergo…

The Times backed up this account, confirming Gray was ejected “when she registered and attended as a member of the public.”

“We’re disappointed that the Trump campaign refused to credential our freelancer and then, when she registered and attended as a member of the public, they ejected her from the event,” the newspaper said in a statement.

“Our goal is to cover these campaign events and talk to voters about the candidates, and that’s what Kathy was trying to do.”

Except that’s not what she was credentialed to do and that’s not the impression she gave on Twitter.

From the context provided in Gray’s tweets, it seems as if she was kicked out because of her pictures from the crowd. There was no mention of the fact that she hadn’t been credentialed nor any talk of the fact she was allowed to stay so long as it wasn’t in a reporting capacity. If there was, you could probably have built an alternative reality — one in which Gray was ejected because you were reading her report from the event.

Was this reporter being misleading?

Now, you may believe Gray was unfairly denied credentials because she’s with The New York Times, a paper that the president doesn’t hold in particularly high regard. You might think this the ejection was heavy-handed. Right, but that still doesn’t explain why Kathy Gray didn’t tell those who were following her coverage of the event that she didn’t have the credentials to cover it.

A lie of omission is and will remain a lie.

While it’s popular among politicians of all stripes, we’ve been told the media are the ones who will hold them to account. As usual, count me among the disappointed.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture