Reprinted from The Nation
When Univision anchor Jorge Ramos kept asking Donald Trump tough questions about immigration policy -- until Trump's security forces physically removed one of the nation's most prominent journalists from what was supposedly a press conference -- he was not just challenging a billionaire blowhard. He was challenging a political process that has veered toward absurdity.
But it was Trump, who has avoided interview requests from Ramos and Univision while racing to make himself available to more amenable media, who had called the press conference and invited questions. And it was Trump whose initial response to Ramos was to interrupt a legitimate line of questioning with repeated demands that the veteran journalist "sit down."
"You weren't called," declared Trump. "Sit down. Sit down."
When Ramos persisted in asking questions about the immigration issues that Trump claims to have moved to the forefront of the national agenda -- "I'm a reporter, an immigrant, and a citizen. I have the right to ask a question..." -- the leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination became even more agitated.
"You haven't been called, go back to Univision," raged Trump.
It was at that point when Ramos was grabbed and escorted from the room. Eventually, Ramos was allowed to return and, when Trump cooled down, to raise some questions. But the image of a journalist being physically ejected from a presidential candidate's press conference because he was raising reasonable -- and necessary -- questions has created the latest media mayhem for a Trump campaign that is already in the midst of running conflicts with Fox News and The Des Moines Register and various and sundry other news outlets.