Presidents through the decades have adopted the latest technology to reach American voters with their message, from whistle-stop train tours across contested states to the “fireside chats” of radio days gone by.
Now President Donald Trump is setting up a campaign website to reach voters directly and bypass the traditional gatekeepers of the news media: newspapers, magazines, radio and television.
His campaign, which faced intense opposition from establishment media the moment he announced he was challenging more than a dozen GOP candidates for the 2016 nomination, announced Tuesday the launch of DonaldJTrump.com.
The webpage, voters are told, “delivers current and compelling information for all Americans about the president’s policies, his achievements to Make America Great Again, and his re-election campaign.”
“The new website will provide a one-stop online destination to learn the facts about President Trump’s actions that are enabling new economic growth and changing the American political landscape. New official campaign merchandise is also available on the website.”
The site will present “facts the mainstream media is hiding about policy positions and actions by President Trump; compelling, never-before-seen photos from recent campaign rallies and events featuring President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence; news announcements from Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.; and other materials that you won’t find anywhere else in the media.”
Michael Glassner, executive director of the campaign, said Trump “believes in speaking directly with the American people.”
“That is the very purpose of this new campaign website – it is an extension of the president’s plan to reinvent the American political system to benefit all Americans,” he said.
“The new website will present fact-based information about the president’s policy positions and achievements since he took office. It will also provide visitors a picture window that will take them behind the scenes at Trump rallies and other campaign events, and much more. Americans should look no further than www.donaldjtrump.com to discover the truth about President Trump’s action agenda to Make America Great Again.”
The website says Trump “followed no rule book and took his message, ‘Make America Great Again,’ directly to the people” to defeat the GOP challengers and ultimately turn Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton into a twice-failed presidential hopeful.
It also includes a recounting of the president’s accomplishments in his first 100 days, which was the subject of a television ad that was censored by ABC, NBC, CBS and CNN.
The networks complained about the ad’s reference to network anchors as “fake news.”
WND reported the censorship set “a chilling precedent against free speech rights.”
Lara Trump, the wife of Eric Trump and daughter-in-law of President Trump, a consultant for the campaign Donald J. Trump for President Inc., said at the time: “Apparently, the mainstream media are champions of the First Amendment only when it serves their own political views. Faced with an ad that doesn’t fit their biased narrative, CNN, ABC, CBS, and NBC have now all chosen to block our ad. This is an unprecedented act of censorship in America that should concern every freedom-loving citizen.”
WND reported when CNN was the first to censor Trump’s campaign.
Glassner said then, “By rejecting our ad, CNN has proven that it supports censorship, is biased and fears an opposing point of view.
“President Trump’s loyal supporters know the truth: The mainstream media mislead, misguide, deceive, and distract,” Glassner continued. “CNN epitomizes the meaning of fake news and has proven it by rejecting our paid campaign ad.”
The network objected to a brief screen display of the images of multiple network anchors with the word “Fake” across the image. CNN insists the “mainstream media is not fake news.”
See the ad:
The ad boasts of the president’s accomplishments regarding business, energy independence, the Supreme Court, tax-cut plans and more, information now found on the campaign’s new site.
The Washington Times reported one of the featured media correspondents was CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
The Trump re-election campaign launched the $1.5 million ad in response to claims in the media that he’s been slow to accomplish his goals. However, while the GOP holds the majorities in both houses of Congress, many Republicans openly opposed Trump’s campaign and some still refuse to support him.
Lara Trump’s statement said the networks “one-by-one” have blocked the ad.
“It’s a great ad and it highlights all the wonderful things that have happened. … It’s really disappointing … this is supposed to be a free society. We have freedom of speech. The fact that this ad is not being shown on CNN, on NBC, on CBS, on news networks who have a duty to report to the public the facts … is really, really ridiculous to me. It’s really sad,” she told the Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity.
CNN contended the graphic portraying network news as “fake” was “false” and said it would have to be removed before the ad could run.
“The mainstream media is not fake news, and therefore the ad is false. Per our policy, it will be accepted only if that graphic is deleted. Those are the facts,” the network claimed.
In response to the Donald J. Trump for President campaign’s accusations of ad censorship: pic.twitter.com/0Rbanpf0dn
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) May 2, 2017