How does Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump decide he's going to ban a reporter or publication from his campaign events?
According to a long profile of Trump's press secretary Hope Hicks written by Olivia Nuzzi at GQ, Trump begins each day by reading Google search results and circling the ones he doesn't like.
This, according to a source close to the campaign, is how Trump decides who can stay and who must go.
Every morning, staffers print out 30 to 50 Google News results for “Donald J. Trump.” He then goes at the sheaf with a marker, making circles and arrows and annotating things he likes or doesn't like. The defaced article gets scanned and e-mailed to the journalist or the person quoted who has drawn Trump's attention, under the subject line “From the office of Donald J. Trump.” [...]
“He reads something he doesn't like by a reporter, and it's like, ‘This motherfucker! All right, fine. Hope?’ He circles it. ‘This guy's banned! He's banned for a while.’ That's exactly how it works.” Hicks plays parole officer to an extensive and expanding blacklist of outlets and reporters (your correspondent once included) no longer welcome at his events.
We can't assume Trump actually reads the articles rather than just the headlines. We've all thought of him as that kind of person, right?
No offense to the illiterate, but if you told me the Republican presidential nominee actually can't read, I couldn't necessarily dismiss the claim out of hand.
Comparisons between Trump and foreign dictators may not be fair in the sense that they aren't nearly as stupid as he is.