One mainstream news outlet is being accused of crossing the privacy line after outing the backgrounds and identities of innocent people who belong to golf clubs owned by President Donald Trump’s corporation.
In USA Today’s attempt to smear anyone who may be associated to President Trump, the news outlet did research into the backgrounds of people who belong to the Trump golf clubs in states such as Florida, New Jersey and Virginia, and found that a list of lobbyists, CEO’s, government contractors, and others who make money from connections with the government, are members.
Charging that people “who make their living influencing the government pay President Trump’s companies for membership in his private golf clubs,” because it puts them “in close contact with the president,” USA Today journalists went on to divulge information about Trump club members, such as one Pennsylvania factory owner who is also a government contractor.
The newspaper described the factory owner’s golf handicap, citing a public U.S. Golf Association website that golfers use to track their handicaps and check the scores of other players, because this was one of the methods reporters used to find out facts about the golf club’s members.
“The site requires golfers to sign up through a club and lists when and where they played. Only members are allowed to associate their handicaps with Trump’s clubs,” said Kyle Littlefield, a pro at Trump National Golf Club-Bedminster who was quoted in the story.
“Members of the clubs Trump has visited most often as president — in Florida, New Jersey and Virginia — include at least 50 executives whose companies hold federal contracts and 21 lobbyists and trade group officials. Two-thirds played on one of the 58 days the president was there, according to scores they posted online,” the paper exclaimed in its September 6 story.
USA Today went on to divulge:
Because membership lists at Trump’s clubs are secret, the public has until now been unable to assess the conflicts they could create. USA TODAY found the names of 4,500 members by reviewing social media and a public website golfers use to track their handicaps, then researched and contacted hundreds to determine whether they had business with the government.
Conveniently forgetting (or maybe just ignoring) Hillary Clinton’s “pay to play” style of serving this county as its secretary of state under President Barack Obama, the report goes on to claim that “for the first time in U.S. history, wealthy people with interests before the government have a chance for close and confidential access to the president as a result of payments that enrich him personally. It is a view of the president available to few other Americans.”
A report about this ludicrous practice of researching private citizens in an effort to publicize their connection to the President was taken apart by Breitbart, who pointed out:
One fact that seems to be left unmentioned in the USA Today story is that these high powered golf club members have been members for years and did not suddenly join merely because Donald Trump won the White House.
However, the paper did note lower down in its report, “Lobbyists face no legal restrictions on golf memberships,” which just means that the people they are accusing haven’t actually broken any laws. They admitted reluctantly:
The arrangement is legal, and members said they did not use the clubs to discuss government business. Nonetheless, ethics experts questioned whether it’s appropriate for a sitting president to collect money from lobbyists and others who spend their days trying to shape federal policy or win government business.
Some members of the media who still have a sense of journalistic ethics were shocked. Their reactions were revealed via Twitter posts after USA Today Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page referenced the story on her Twitter account:
USA TODAY ID'ed 4,500 Trump golf-club members through social media & a website golfers use to track handicaps, then researched who they were https://t.co/5ExoctJrnS
— Susan Page (@SusanPage) September 6, 2017
It was quickly pointed out that USA Today may have put the outed members and their families in danger of Antifa and Black Lives Matter-styled terrorism.
— DANEgerus 🔹 ن (@DANEgerus) September 6, 2017
SMH. You are trying to get people killed by antifa democrat liberal Nazis. This is why the 2nd amendment is so important
— ashes222dust 🇺🇸 (@ashes222dust) September 6, 2017
So, you're doxxing innocent ppl? Maybe the Net should post all personal info of all family, friends, assoc. of this "journalist"? AND, GO!
— Rev. Keith (@RevKeithPgh) September 6, 2017
As Colombian Oil Money Flowed To Clintons, State Department Ignored Labor Violations
— TheTruthIsOutThere (@LuciHoneychurch) September 7, 2017
It was also quickly pointed out that “pay-for-play” was a Clinton specialty.
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