Wednesday September 13, 2017

What NBC'S Katy Tur learned from covering Donald Trump's campaign

From the earliest days of his campaign for president, Katy Tur's book describes how Donald Trump ridiculed,  scolded and belittled her, referring to her as 'Little Katy.'

From the earliest days of his campaign for president, Katy Tur's book describes how Donald Trump ridiculed, scolded and belittled her, referring to her as 'Little Katy.'

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When Katy Tur was given the assignment of covering Donald Trump's campaign for NBC, she had no idea it would change the course of her life.

Many had doubted the billionaire real estate mogul's chance of becoming the presidential standard bearer for the Republican Party.

But on election day, Tur was one of the few people in the media who felt Trump was going to win. 

"It was a surreal experience," Tur tells The Current's Anna Maria Tremonti about election night, when it became clear that Donald Trump was going to be the 45th president of the United States.  

Katy Tur

Journalist Katy Tur reflects on her months covering the Donald Trump campaign in her book, Unbelievable: My Front Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History. (Elena Seibert)

"It took a long time for the political establishment to fully understand the tidal wave that was coming their way and they didn't believe it even though they were seeing it with their own eyes on election night."

In her new book, Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History, Tur shares her story following Donald Trump on the campaign trail.

During the campaign, the book describes how candidate Trump would often single out Tur for mockery and abuse from the podium, referring to her as a "third-rate reporter."

For Tur, the anger towards her being stirred up by Trump supporters would sometimes feel menacing.  At one rally, she says the concern for her safety was so great that the Trump campaign provided security to protect her from his more incensed supporters.

NBC would continue to provide protection for her and her crew throughout the rest of the campaign.

Tur says the abuse against her by Trump fans extended to her family as well. Her father, a helicopter reporter in Los Angeles is transgender, a fact that was used to try to hurt her, but she says they failed in their attempt.

"If you want to go after me for a brave decision my dad made then, screw you. It doesn't bother me in the least."

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On June 25, 2016, then Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke to NBC news correspondent Katy Tur on the golf course at his Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeen, Scotland. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

Despite the abuse that was directed at her, Tur says covering the campaign made her a better reporter. And in turn, she learned a lot about America in the process. 

"I learned about human nature. I learned about who makes up this country, and why they were frustrated, and why Donald Trump is so appealing to so many Americans and why he won."

"And I think that is invaluable."

Listen to the full conversation near the top of this web post.

This segment was produced by The Current's Howard Goldenthal.