On every article about Donald Trump, The Huffington Post used to put an editor’s note at the end calling him a racist, misogynist, xenophobic liar.
With the presumptive victory of Trump as president of the US, that note will now be removed. Politico’s Hadas Gold first reported the change.
The Huffington Post’s Ryan Grim, head of its Washington bureau, sent a memo to staff on Tuesday evening saying the decision was meant to give Trump a fresh start.
“The thinking is that (assuming he wins) that he’s now president and we’re going to start with a clean slate,” Grim wrote, according to Politico. “If he governs in a racist, misogynistic way, we reserve the right to add it back on. This would be giving respect to the office of the presidency which Trump and his backers never did.”
This was the old note:
“Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.”
In an election where a large swath of the media treated Donald Trump with contempt, The Huffington Post led the way.
The left-leaning publisher made the decision in July, 2015, to cover Trump’s campaign in the “Entertainment” sections instead of its “Politics” one. “Our reason is simple,” Grim and Danny Shea wrote at the time. “Trump’s campaign is a sideshow.”
The Huffington Post rolled back that policy in December.
Founder Arianna Huffington wrote in December that while Trump’s campaign had “certainly lived up to that billing [as a sideshow] … it’s also morphed into something else: an ugly and dangerous force in American politics.” The Huffington Post then added in the editor’s note.
Now, with Trump’s victory all-but-sure, The Huffington Post is again changing course.
The Huffington Post provided the following statement to Politico:
“This note was added to stories about presidential candidate Donald Trump during the election cycle. Now that the election is over, we will no longer be adding the note to future stories, as he is no longer a presidential candidate.”