Two historians explain why you should care when Donald Trump ditches journalists

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tags: election 2016, Trump



Donald Trump went rogue Tuesday night.

The president-elect left his home in Trump Tower to go to the 21 Club in New York City with his family to grab dinner. But he intentionally ditched reporterswaiting downstairs, who had been told by Trump officials that the incoming president was in for the night.

No one thinks Trump should be prevented from enjoying a meal with his family. But for decades, a "protective pool" of journalists has followed the president or president-elect wherever he goes, ensuring independent coverage of the leader of the free world should a crisis arise.

Preventing those reporters from tracking the president-elect's whereabouts, even when he's at dinner, erects a barrier between the American public and their leaders, said Robert Dallek, a presidential historian at Stanford University who has written books on almost every era of the presidency.

"This is a constant as part of our democracy. In a sense, presidents are being shadowed. They're being watched," Dallek said. "This is the way the job works."

Press freedom and access expert Charles Davis, dean of the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, said the need for journalists independently monitoring the president has never been greater.




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