Lucian Wintrich has little experience as a reporter, yet he was quick to criticize the White House press pool, of which he is the newest member.
Wintrich — known as the creator of Twinks4Trump, a photo series of young men in "Make America Great Again" hats — made headlines this week, when he became a White House correspondent representing Gateway Pundit, a right-wing blog known for alt-right clickbait and its promotion of "alternative facts."
In response, Media Matters devoted a piece critical of the "dangerous troll" for his lack of experience and his ties to the alt-right movement. A friend of Milo Yiannopoulos, the gay blogger also refers to Trump as "daddy" and posts frog emojis in reference to Pepe the Frog, a cartoon character that has been appropriated by racist groups.
"I will be the first rational voice that the American people have had in White House press in ages," Wintrich stated in Facebook post announcing his credentials. On Twitter, he added, "I don’t consider myself a journalist, I consider myself the future of journalism."
— Jim Hoft (@gatewaypundit) February 13, 2017
Wintrich's first post as a correspondent, published Tuesday, gives a glimpse of what "the future of journalism" looks like. Titled "The REAL Story Is Not the Victimization of Mike Flynn; It’s About Our National Security," the article attempts to make news of the newsmakers, rather than the actions of the Trump administration.
It also reads more as a commentary than a news piece. In the vein of Sarah Palin, Wintrich, an alt-right fly on the wall, slammed the other members of the press pool for asking "got ya!" questions related to the resignation of Michael T. Flynn. Flynn, Trump's national security adviser, resigned Monday amid concerns he misled members of the administration regarding communications with a Russian diplomat, Sergey I. Kislyak.
In these conversations, Flynn reportedly discussed sanctions imposed on Russia by the Obama administration — something he later denied, according to current and former American officials in a New York Times article. The Times reported Tuesday that several members of of Donald Trump's presidential campaign also had ties to Russia.
Sidestepping the magnitude of this report, Wintrich claimed, "Flynn fell victim to a targeted campaign by former Obama officials." And echoing a narrative advanced by Donald Trump, he also accused the media — for asking press secretary Sean Spicer questions related to Flynn's resignation and Russia's interference in the election — of focusing too much on "gossip" and "neglecting the intrinsic dangers to our national security that is presented by these leaks."
In the article, Wintrich provided several block quotations from Spicer, who also attempted to move the news away from Flynn's resignation to the legality of the "leaks," which he claimed posed the real threat to national security. This "very astute" statement, Wintrich alleged, was "largely ignored" by the media.
Similiarly, Trump tweeted Tuesday, “The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington? Will these leaks be happening as I deal on N.Korea etc?”
In his conclusion, Wintrich accused the mainstream media of ignoring "threats to the homeland" — a feat of backward logic when the media is investigating the existence of these very threats.
If this article is any indication, Wintrich's role as a White House correspondent will not be to report news. "The future of journalism," in this interpretation, is to regurgitate the narrative of the Trump administration without scrutiny and attack the credibility of the press from within.