Jeff Gerth on the press versus the president

February 7, 2023
Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the White House Rose Garden on Friday, June 5, 2020. AP Photo/Evan Vucci


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Last week, the Columbia Journalism Review published a four-part investigation into the media’s fraught relationship with Donald Trump. In this episode of The Kicker, Jeff Gerth, who authored the report, talks to Kyle Pope, CJR’s editor and publisher, about the origin of the investigation and the intense responses to it, which Gerth admits he is still “grappling” with.

On the podcast, Gerth says he considers his 24,000-word story an “anatomy” reconstructing how the media covered Trump and Russia. In reporting the piece, Gerth interviewed Trump at—predictably—a golf course, and he reached out to dozens of journalists who covered Trump-Russia, albeit with limited success. “Many of them are loath to want to discuss or engage with what they do,” Gerth says in the episode. “I find it perplexing.” 

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Emily Russell was a CJR fellow, and is now an editor at The Week.