On Monday, the Gizmodo Media Group Editorial Union — which represents staffers at outlets like Gizmodo, Jezebel, Deadspin, Fusion, and The Root — released a statement slamming the CEOs of Univision and Fusion for attending an off-the-record meeting with President-elect Donald Trump.
Here’s the statement, as shared on Twitter by a Fusion employee.
Today, Univision CEO Randy Falco and Fusion's Isaac Lee attended an off-the-record meeting with Trump. Our editorial union’s statement: pic.twitter.com/VZPsr2XEcx
— Katherine Krueger (@kath_krueger) January 9, 2017
As the statement alludes to, Trump hasn’t held an on-record press conference since July 27, when he took questions from reporters in Miami and brazenly encouraged Russian hackers to “find” tens of thousands of emails deleted from Hillary Clinton’s server, adding that media coverage would result in the hackers being “rewarded mightily by our press.” Last month, however, Trump hosted an off-record confab with journalists at Mar-a-Lago. Members of the press were treated to cold cuts, potato chips, and Trump-branded champagne.
That gathering occurred days after Trump canceled a news conference where he was supposed to address his conflict of interest problems. Instead, Trump simply dismissed the issue with a tweet. The news conference has been rescheduled for Wednesday, January 11 — the same day Republicans are expected to hold hearings for as many as four of Trump’s cabinet appointees.
As the Gizmodo union statement also alludes to, four of nine Trump cabinet picks reportedly still haven’t disclosed financial information to the Office of Government Ethics, an office “designed to prevent and resolve conflicts of interest.”
In a statement sent to Democratic senators, Office of Government Ethics (OGE) director Walter Shaub wrote that the lack of disclosure “is of great concern to me” and should “be cause for alarm.”
“This normally intensive process has been further complicated by both the Senate hearing schedule and the announcement of nominees prior to consulting OGE for an evaluation of any ethics issues,” Shaub wrote, according to the Huffington Post. “In the past, the ethics work was fully completed prior to the announcement of nominees in the overwhelming majority of cases.”
And of course, during the campaign, Trump became the first major party presidential nominee to refuse to release his tax returns since Gerald Ford.
Trump’s meeting with the CEOs of Univision and Fusion came days after he met off-record with Conde Nast executives. The Daily Beast reports that the meeting drew “an outcry” from some Conde Nast employees, but Conde Nast workers aren’t unionized, and no statement was issued.
During his campaign, Trump regularly smeared reporters as “disgusting,” “dishonest,” “corrupt,” and egged rally-goers to jeer and heckle reporters covering his events. He has continued to regularly attack the media on Twitter after winning the election.
As a candidate, Trump regularly threatened to sue those who spoke out against him or covered him critically, including the New York Times. Weeks before the election, Trump said he thinks the First Amendment provides “too much protection” for free speech because “our press is allowed to say whatever they want.”