Donald Trump fired back Friday after The Huffington Post announced they would no longer cover his 2016 presidential run as a political story, calling the liberal news site a "glorified blog."
The website announced its editorial decision earlier in the day, with a blaring homepage headline that read: "YOU'RE FIRED! From Our Political Reporting."
HuffPost editors said in a brief coverage note that Trump's candidacy would not be part of their politics coverage going forward, and, "Instead, we will cover his campaign as part of our Entertainment section."
They explained: "Our reason is simple: Trump's campaign is a sideshow. We won't take the bait. If you are interested in what The Donald has to say, you'll find it next to our stories on the Kardashians and The Bachelorette."
Trump's campaign hit back in a written statement, touting his poll numbers and mocking the HuffPost website.
"If you read previously written Tweets, Mr. Trump has never been a fan of Arianna Huffington or the money-losing Huffington Post," the campaign said. "The only clown show in this scenario is the Huffington Post pretending to be a legitimate news source. Mr. Trump is not focused on being covered by a glorified blog."
The site's provocative editorial call quickly came under fire from both sides of the political spectrum, not just the Trump campaign.
Rich Noyes, research director at the conservative Media Research Center, said the decision on a candidate's legitimacy should be up to voters, not the media.
"It seems high and mighty of the Huffington Post to decide who is and who isn't a real candidate when Donald Trump is leading in the Republican polls right now," Noyes said. "They wouldn't have taken kindly if the rest of the media had treated Arianna Huffington's run for governor of California as a sideshow. I would say it's up to the voters to decide who is a real candidate and who is not."
From the left, Mother Jones' David Corn also took issue with HuffPost, for different reasons.
Trump has given the Republican Party a collective migraine the past couple weeks over his comments on Mexican illegal immigrants. And Corn wrote that "to exile Trump to the realm of the Kardashians is to let the Republican party off the hook too easily."
Corn said while Trump has turned the primary "into a stretch Hummer-sized clown car," The Huffington Post is "wrong." Trump is a "political phenomenon" whose rise says a lot about Republican voters, he said.
Like him or not, Trump is a registered candidate. He recently filed a campaign finance report with the Federal Election Commission, like all the other candidates. And the latest Fox News poll shows him atop the GOP primary field, though his lead is within the margin of error.
To be sure, Trump is part-reality TV showman, part-businessman, and now part-politician. But he's hardly the first entertainer to enter politics, following in the footsteps of comedian and now-Democratic Minnesota Sen. Al Franken; movie star and ex-California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger; and actor-turned-President Ronald Reagan.
The Poynter Institute's James Warren pointed to those examples in challenging the website's decision.
"You might think Trump is a buffoon. But he may have, for the moment at least, touched some nerve of dissatisfaction, perhaps partial explanation of his decent showing in some early Republican polls. Something of the sort happened long ago with some guys who were actually professional actors and were similarly disparaged," he wrote. "They, too, could have been journalistically segregated long ago as not meeting some arbitrary test of seriousness and legitimacy. You do remember Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger, don't you?"
The difference with Trump may be that he didn't polish his persona before entering the race. His complaint that Mexico is sending "rapists" and other criminals to America has outraged Latino groups, and led to rebukes from fellow candidates on both sides of the aisle. He has since sparred over Twitter with several of them.
But the Republican Party has not made any move to exclude him. The most that has happened was Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus reportedly urged Trump in a phone call to tone it down, though The Donald disputes the claim.
While The Huffington Post is getting much attention for its decision, not all conservatives are outraged.
Michael Reagan, son of the late president, told FoxNews.com, "You can't really disagree with The Huffington Post -- he is entertaining."
"He has sucked all the air out of the room and if the other Republicans don't want him to win, they ought to figure out how to put the air back into the room," he said.
David Avella, chairman of the Republican recruiting arm GOPAC, said The Huffington Post, as a private company, does have the right to provide coverage as it deems fit.
"If Donald Trump doesn't like how he is being covered by the Huffington Post, then he could buy it," he said. "There are plenty of media outlets that will cover him in their political sections. In fact, in the last two weeks media coverage has not been a problem for Donald Trump."
FoxNews.com's Kelley Vlahos, Judson Berger and Christopher Snyder and Fox News' Serafin Gomez contributed to this report.