Iowa Republican bars ‘leftist propaganda’ outlet Des Moines Register from election event
U.S. Rep. Steve King has barred the Des Moines Register from his election night event in Sioux City.
The Register made a routine request Monday for credentials to cover the northwest Iowa Republican’s event Tuesday evening.
Jeff King, who is Steve King’s son and a paid staffer of his campaign, responded Tuesday morning with a terse email. “We are not granting credentials to the Des Moines Register or any other leftist propaganda media outlet with no concern for reporting the truth,” he wrote.
The arch-conservative congressman is running for his ninth two-year term. He usually cruises to victory in the heavily Republican 4th Congressional District. But this year, he is facing a tough challenge from Democratic newcomer J.D. Scholten.
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King has drawn increasing controversy for his caustic comments, including about immigrants and gay people, and for voicing support for far-right politicians in other countries. Even some fellow Republican members of Congress have distanced themselves from him in recent weeks.
Register Executive Editor Carol Hunter on Tuesday said she was disappointed by the campaign’s decision to bar the newspaper’s staff from his rally Tuesday evening. “The Des Moines Register will continue doing everything in its power to cover Rep. King fairly,” she said. “This decision is unfortunate because it not only shuts out the Des Moines Register reporter, but also the people of Iowa.”
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King’s unusual move mirrors one President Donald Trump made in the summer of 2015, when Trump temporarily denied credentials to Register reporters and photographers to cover his campaign events. That decision came after the Register’s editorial board, which is separate from the news-gathering staff, called for Trump to withdraw from the race because he mocked Sen. John McCain’s experience as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.
King has had a testy relationship with the Register for years. The congressman’s office often does not respond when Register reporters seek comment on issues.
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