In the dark days leading up to Trump’s shocking election win, one journalist gave us hope that perhaps Trump’s mountain of lies would catch up to him before it was too late. Though fate had other ideas, David A. Fahrenthold of The Washington Post just won a Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for his transparent journalism exposing Trump’s false claims of generous charity donations.
— The Pulitzer Prizes (@PulitzerPrize) April 10, 2017
“For persistent reporting that created a model for transparent journalism in political campaign coverage while casting doubt on Donald Trump’s assertions of generosity toward charities,” reads the prize.
In October 2016, one college professor at Austin Peay State University related his wife’s amusing statement that Fahrenthold was like a“time traveler from the future trying to carefully fix the darkest timeline.”
My wife says that David @Fahrenthold is a time traveler from the future trying to carefully fix the darkest time line. I believe her.
— James Church (@jcchurch) October 8, 2016
If only he really were a time traveler, then Teflon Trump surely could not have taken the White House, yet somehow Republicans ignored the credible news in favor of fakes news from who-knows-where (Russia) and voted for him anyway. Following Trump’s win, David vowed, “I’ll seek to cover Trump the president with the same vigor as I scrutinized Trump the candidate.”
American News X reporters followed his findings closely last year.
In October, James Conrad reported on Fahrenthold’s findings that Trump had embezzled over a quarter of a million dollars from the Trump Foundation to settle lawsuits against him. To avoid paying taxes, Trump instructed those who owed him to write checks to the Foundation. Trump was later barred from fundraising in New York for failing to obtain a fundraising license. It was Fahrenthold’s innovative reporting that prompted authorities in New York to suspend further fundraising.
Jen Froderman reported in December as the day of inauguration approached: Fahrenthold had received credible death threats for daring to find the facts on Trump. Trump responded in typical fashion, by calling the journalist “a really nasty guy,” and “dishonest.” It didn’t stop Fahrenthold, even as Trump tried to scandalize the Clinton Foundation by calling it a “criminal enterprise”: Trump had misled everyone about his charitable donations through the Trump Foundation. The dogged Post reporter called 450 charities to get the real scoop.
Fahrenthold was determined to expose the truth at a time when the media was under attack, and accusations of “fake news” were and still are thrown about anytime Trump is criticized. He discovered that Trump’s claims of donating $6M to veterans groups were the real fake news. That led him to more inquiries that are cited as winning work by the Pulitzer Prize Board today. The findings in these articles are truly startling: Trump purchasing Tim Tebow memorabilia and portraits of himself with foundation money is just one example.
— Gene Park (@GenePark) April 10, 2017
Yet to the Republican base voters, not even the overt misogyny of that report would prove more intriguing than tales of Hillary Clinton’s email and the propaganda that we know now may have originated in Russia. The story did, however, inspire the women’s protest marches the day after inauguration.
In a comment to his fellow Washington Post staff, Fahrenthold said:
“We’ve gone back to being what we always were: a swashbuckling, absolutely vital force for truth at a time when the country absolutely needs that.”
What a wonderful day! Thank you all for the good wishes today, and thanks to everyone who helped last year. I'm so incredibly grateful. https://t.co/gUabnrZ6Ux
— David Fahrenthold (@Fahrenthold) April 10, 2017
We couldn’t agree more. Fahrenthold’s win today gives us all hope that credible fact-seeking reporters, journalists, and bloggers will play a big part in raising America’s collective bar back to where it was prior to the election of Donald Trump.
Featured image via Twitter