On Tuesday night, Univision anchor Jorge Ramos — one of the world’s most influential journalists — stood up at a press conference attempted to ask Trump some basic questions about his immigration policy. How, exactly, would Trump deport 11 million undocumented immigrants? How would Trump build a 1900-mile wall?
Trump responded by summoning his bodyguards and forcibly removing Ramos from the room.
El momento en que Donald J. Trump expulsa a Jorge Ramos de rueda de prensa en #Iowa después de enfrentamiento acerca de #inmigración. Aquí los detalles: http://uni.vi/RmZR3
Posted by Univision Noticias on Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Ramos said that, in 30 years as a journalist, he has never previously been kicked out of a press conference. He was later allowed back into the room and did get to ask a question.
Journalists ask questions/
Los periodistas hacen preguntas
— JORGE RAMOS (@jorgeramosnews) August 26, 2015
Many people in the media establishment have responded by attacking Ramos for not showing appropriate respect for Trump. On MSNBC, Joe Scarborough said that Ramos — who has been a dominant figure in the media for decades — was “looking for his 15 minutes of fame” and “staged” the altercation with Trump’s body guards.
Mike Barnicle, a guest on the program, said that Trump “handled that very well” but wouldn’t get enough credit.
Mika Brzezinski then accused Ramos of “pretending to be bullied and pretending to be thrown out of a room.” “No reporter I know would go to a press conference and deliver a speech,” Joe Scarborough added. Brzenzinski also lamented that Ramos made the room “awkward and uncomfortable with other reporters.”
On CNN, Chris Cuomo told Ramos: “It’s his press conference. He runs the rules. You jumped the queue.” Ramos noted that in virtually every press conference reporters ask questions without being called on.
Cuomo also said that Ramos was biased because he has said publicly that he didn’t believe humans could be “illegal.” Cuomo proceeded to refer to undocumented immigrants as “illegals” throughout the interview.
In the Washington Post, Ramos was belittled as a “conflict junkie.”
The comments on CNN, MSNBC and The Washington Post were echoed in the conservative media.
Ramos was spoiling for a fight and out of line, but he did return and he and Trump had a long exchange
— Rich Lowry (@RichLowry) August 26, 2015
Ramos is an activist and was essentially heckling Trump without getting called on. Getting ill with him was defensible, if inadvisable…
— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) August 25, 2015
“This is very important for the Hispanic community and this is personal. We’re talking about destroying the lives of millions of people if his plan goes ahead. Instead of waiting — and you never wait for it — I decided to come to Iowa and ask him the questions that he didn’t want to answer,” Ramos explained on CNN.
Ramos said that reporters “have to take a stand when it comes to racism… as a reporter I don’t have to sit down because Donald Trump tells me to sit down.”
The decision to criticize Ramos for not showing appropriate respect is revealing. Trump has described Mexican immigrants, a group that includes Ramos, as “rapists.” When Ramos sent him a hand-written note with his cell phone number requesting an interview, Trump responded by publishing his number on the internet.