Why campaign reporters want you to watch this video of Trump rallies

NY Times publishes on-the-ground view of Trump Rally
NY Times publishes on-the-ground view of Trump Rally

This is a video that Donald Trump campaign reporters want you to watch.

It is a three-minute mash-up of racist, sexist and violent language used by Trump supporters at the candidate's rallies. The typically prudish New York Times posted the video on Wednesday, making an exception to its rules against publishing vulgarities and slurs.

The video immediately got people talking. Reporters from many of The Times' rivals said it accurately reflected how some -- not all -- rallygoers behave.

"If you've never attended a Trump rally, you should watch this video. A glimpse into what you experience/hear," NPR's Asma Khalid tweeted.

Wall Street Journal reporter Ben Kesling agreed: "I've been covering Trump rallies across the U.S. since February, and this is accurate and even an incomplete picture."

Professor Marty Kaplan of the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication theorized that "you haven't seen" the crude behavior on TV because it's "so foul."

Some commenters objected to the video, saying it unfairly portrays Trump supporters as prejudiced and hateful.

And David Martosko, who covers Trump for The Daily Mail, commented that some anti-Trump protesters also use crass language. "Both groups are a tiny sliver. Some media explode it," he wrote.

An accompanying story by the Times says "not everyone attending a Trump rally behaves this way. In fact, many are polite and well mannered."

But it also says that the rhetoric at Trump rallies is unique -- and should be scrutinized.

On his Facebook page, Times presidential campaign editor David Halbfinger explained why the newspaper produced the unusual piece:

"Cover enough Trump rallies and you can get inured to the rough talk, the coarseness, crudeness and violent slogans of his most vitriolic and emotional supporters. Not all of his fans, but enough of them. And those who don't join in rarely express disapproval (though crowds loudly shout down protesters). Our reporters went back to the footage, and attended several weeks' more of new Trump rallies, to listen for and zero in on the harsh things people were saying."

Halbfinger described it as being "unlike anything we've seen in politics — or in The New York Times."

The video is not a comprehensive overview of Trump rally rhetoric, nor does it claim to be. It is a compilation of some of the most shocking things seen and heard at the campaign's events.

One of the standout qualities of the video is the up-close-and-personal nature of the scenes. The producers said that's because they "obtained recordings from others in attendance, who sometimes were closer to the action" than reporters.

"This is incredible and an absolute must-watch. I covered Romney 24/7 in 2012 & never heard/saw one second of this," Yahoo's Sarah Boxer wrote.

WYNC's Andrea Bernstein wrote that "when I came back from one of the first Trump rallies, I had trouble speaking about it," and this video "shows why."

And CNN Politics reporter Jeremy Diamond tweeted that it "can be hard to convey the vitriol we witness daily at Trump rallies," but that the Times succeeded in doing so.

A spokesperson for the Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment about the video. The Times is a favorite target of Trump's anti-media commentary; earlier this week he said the paper's reporters do not "write good" about him.


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