Jonathan Swan landed a big shot over President Trump last week, another in a row of big shovels that the young reporter has landed since Trump took office.
The reaction? Brutally.
Swan, Looking after the White House for the online news site Axios, Trump first suggested that they propose "birthrate", the constitutionally guaranteed guarantee, to anyone born in the United States. Swan was so close to the news story that even Trump was surprised that Swan knew about the proposal when Swan approached him in an interview with the White House, which HBO will air on Sunday.
Good work . , , Apart from a few things, online critics were not too shy.
For one thing, Axios' story and headline – "Exclusive: Trump to End Primordial Authority" – did not notice that Trump can not simply overwrite the constitution with a stroke of the pen (the story and headline were later changed to this to reflect). On the other hand, a clip of Swann's encounter with Trump triggered a furious backlash in social media because Swann had failed, Trump's claim that other countries have no first-birth (or dozens), or the idea that the proposal was just Be a Trump Trump to arouse the mood against the immigrants days before a poll.
"This is less a news bulletin than a press release," a critic wrote under a headline that called Swan a "bootlicker". "This is a news agency that willingly host a press event for a racist administration."
The triumph-to-fiasco story of Swan's story was a rare source of turbulence for a reporter on a sustained series since Trump's inauguration. Swan broke Trump's story and drew attention to Axios, a website founded two years ago by a team that started working with Politico in 2007.
Among his biggest hits: Swan first reported that Trump wanted to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement; this Trump was planning to relocate the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem; that the chief strategist of the White House, Stephen K. Bannon, would be fired; Paul D. Ryan, Speaker of the House of Representatives, would not request re-election. that Trump would end President Barack Obama's order to protect children brought to the United States by undocumented immigrants; that Anthony Scaramucci be appointed Communications Director of the White House; and that Trump had accepted Nikki Haley's resignation as United States Ambassador to the United Nations.
A few days after breaking the birthplace story, Swan broke the news that Trump was "strong," and Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Heather Nauert considered Haley's successor. Trump later confirmed the story, saying that Nauert's work was "under very serious consideration."
The series of stories puts Swan in the top tier of reporters reporting to Trump, says Bob Woodward, the legendary Washington Post reporter and author of the latest bestseller "Fear" about Trump White House. "I do not feel like he's soft at all," says Woodward. "Watching this line of tough but fair-minded walking while listening to the people you deal with is a tricky business, especially in daily reporting. He's in this class that beats Trump pretty hard, but listens and gives him a chance to air his side.
Woodward says Swan is among the best in an emerging group of Washington reporters, including Maggie Haberman of The New York Times, Michael Bender of Wall Street, and Robert Costa, Philip Rucker, and Ashley Parker of The Post.
The special feature of Swan, 33, is that he is only a journalist for a few years and even less so a journalist in Washington.
Born and raised in Australia, he did not start his profession until he was 25, even though his family had journalism. Schwan's father, Norman Swan, is known as a health and science channel. An aunt and an uncle are also reporters in his homeland.
After brief stints in politics and other topics at the Sydney Morning Herald, Swan came to the US in 2013 as a fellow and briefly served as a consultant on Capitol Hill. His first real American reporter job was at Hill; He joined the 2015 publication, reporting campaign funding and occasionally a candidate named Donald Trump. (Swan is an Australian citizen who has a work visa and wants to seek American citizenship after marrying his fiancé, Daily Beast, political reporter Betsy Woodruff.)
His career accelerated when he came to Axios shortly after its foundation in early 2017. There, he was co-authored by co-founders of the site, Jim VandeHei, and scriptwriter Mike Allen, who is referred to by the site as "the most wired world in the world." "VandeHei and Allen apparently saw in Swan the kind of high-metabolism journalists they spent working at the Washington Post and Politico, who left Allen and VandeHei in 2016 after a row with co-founder John Harris.
"You will not find a harder, more thorough, or harder reporter," VandeHei says of his protégé. "I could not be more proud of him than a reporter and a person. I would give my right arm for an army of swans. "
While VandeHei does not provide any numbers, Swan's Trump shovels undoubtedly played an important role in the early efforts of Axios' traffic organization. According to the web tracking company ComScore, the website had 8.3 million visitors in September. This is only a fraction of the much larger competitors (Washington Post: 85.6 million, Politico: 32.4 million), but an impressive figure for a young site with only two dozen editorial staff.
Swan itself produces weekly a newsletter that has become a franchise. The Axios Sneak Peek newsletter has around 150,000 subscribers, according to VandeHei. Swan has also used his TV appearances on "Morning Joe" and "PBS NewsHour" for a lucrative career. He is reported to receive up to $ 25,000 per speech, although the fees for his agency are described as "variable."
Swan himself declined to comment on the record of this story. He shared this with about half a dozen of his White House competitors, who all spoke of him on the condition that they were not directly identified or quoted.
Even the competition among reporters is synonymous with its peers. Competitors on the beat say he earns morale through an extensive network of contacts and contacts, as well as seven days a week. Despite the first-birth episode, they describe Swan as a strict and independent reporter.
The one hit on Swann is that he is not Washington's deepest reporter or finest writer. His stories sometimes read like flashes of news or blurb, without context, depth, or context. For example, he literally had 55 words about Trump's plans for the US Embassy in Israel.
Nevertheless, Woodward remains a fan. "I do not know if Jonathan Swan receives the MVP award" for reporting on Trump. "But he belongs to this group that is worth seeing. Maybe he's the freshman of the year. "