Trump Charges ‘Free Press’ With ‘Collusion.’ As Predicted.

In Trump’s world, there’s nothing wrong with “collusion” unless it’s being committed by Hillary Clinton… or the media.

The president woke up on Thursday to news that nearly 350 different newspapers across the country had all published editorials denouncing his attacks against the media. The project, spearheaded by The Boston Globe, called on papers to tackle the issue in their own words.

“We propose to publish an editorial on August 16 on the dangers of the administration’s assault on the press and ask others to commit to publishing their own editorials on the same date,” Marjorie Pritchard, deputy managing editor of Globe, wrote in a memo to editorial boards last week.

“We’re being portrayed as a domestic enemy rather than a loyal fellow countryman whose profession is to hold the powerful accountable,” she added in an interview with The New York Times. “This whole project is not anti-Trump. It’s really pro-press.”

Unsurprisingly, Trump didn’t see it that way.

The first tweet on the issue came just before 9 a.m. “THE FAKE NEWS MEDIA IS THE OPPOSITION PARTY. It is very bad for our Great Country….BUT WE ARE WINNING!” Trump tweeted defiantly.

Then, about 15 minutes after Fox News first reported on the editorials, Trump lashed out at The Boston Globe directly. After highlighting the paper’s financial struggles, the president accused the Globe of being “in COLLUSION with other papers on free press.” He added, “PROVE IT!” though it was unclear who he was speaking to or what he wanted proven.

For good measure, Trump added a dismissive message about “true FREEDOM OF THE PRESS.”

Of course, Trump’s reaction to the project could not have been more predictable.

So much so that, writing for The San Francisco Chronicle, editorial-page editor John Diaz predicted it.

In a piece explaining why his paper would not be participating in the “coordinated editorial campaign,” Diaz expressed several concerns about the project, including this one:

“It plays into Trump’s narrative that the media are aligned against him. I can just anticipate his Thursday morning tweets accusing the ‘FAKE NEWS MEDIA’ of ‘COLLUSION!’ and ‘BIAS!’ He surely will attempt to cite this day of editorials to discredit critical and factual news stories in the future, even though no one involved in those pieces had anything to do with this campaign.”

[The Daily Beast]

Trump says Trump Tower meeting meant to obtain information on Clinton

President Trump tweeted Sunday morning about the now-infamous June 9, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between Russians and Trump campaign officials, including his son, Donald Trump Jr.

“Fake News reporting, a complete fabrication, that I am concerned about the meeting my wonderful son, Donald, had in Trump Tower. This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics – and it went nowhere. I did not know about it!”

Why it matters: Trump and his son have repeatedly changed their stance on the purpose of the 2016 meeting. In a statement to The New York Times last July, which investigators now know was dictated by President Trump, Don Jr. said the meeting was primarily about Russian adoptions. Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen has also claimedthat the president approved the meeting ahead of time, contradicting continued denials by Trump and his legal team.

[Axios]

Trump Starts Sunday Morning Saying Press is ‘Dangerous’ and ‘Sick’ and They ‘Cause War’

At his rally on Saturday, President Trump divided the media into two groups: Fox News, and Fake News.

On Sunday morning he blasted Fake News, meaning all non-Fox News, as the “enemy of the people” once again, and said that they are “dangerous”, “sick”, and “cause war.”

“The Fake News hates me saying that they are the Enemy of the People only because they know it’s TRUE,” he Tweeted, obviously catching the Sunday morning news and seeing reporting on his comments from Saturday’s rally. “I am providing a great service by explaining this to the American People.”

On Saturday, Trump called MSNBC “disgusting” and “corrupt”, and the crowd chanted “CNN sucks.”

[Mediaite]

Trump Smears MSNBC as ‘Disgusting’ and ‘Corrupt’ at Rally, Crowd Erupts in ‘CNN Sucks’ Chant

During a raucous rally in Ohio that hit on a number of familiar themes from his earlier rallies, President Donald Trump once again took swipes at the media, calling MSNBC “disgusting” and prompting a chant of “CNN sucks.”

“They had this false report that I was supporting somebody else and they were right,” he said before laughing, “It was fake news.”

“They were right and I was supporting somebody else, Steve Stivers but he’s in a  totally different district. Did they apologize…”

Then turning to the media bullpen, Trump asked, “Did you apologize for that mistake?”

That prompted loud boos and chants of “CNN sucks” from the crowd.

Finally, continuing on with his story only after the anti-CNN chants died down, Trump continued on, taking another media jab: “So, I heard that Troy was like my second choice. I said he was my first choice. He has always been the one I want to win. It’s always dangerous when you do this…They give us false records.”

The mistake Trump was referring to a tweet he sent out on August 2 calling for people to get out and vote for Stivers, who is not on the special election ballot.

Despite calling for the media to apologize during the rally, that tweet — sent by Trump — has since been deleted.

Yet, as it turns out Trump’s call for the apology was just the warm-up. Later on during the same Ohio rally, Trump once again hit on the media, calling out CNN and MSNBC by name and once again sparking a fierce reaction from the crowd.

“MSNBC is so corrupt. It is so disgusting, so disgusting. I would say almost worse,” Trump said, prompting boos for the media from the crowd.

Then after praising Fox News — even calling out Fox News personalities by name — Trump said to the sycophant and loud crowd, “CNN is down at the bottom of the totem pole. MSNBC isn’t even close [to Fox].”

[Mediaite]

President Trump bashes LeBron James over CNN interview: Don Lemon made him ‘look smart’

It seemed inevitable that President Donald Trump would weigh in on LeBron James’ recent interview with CNN’s Don Lemon.

After four days, Trump finally let loose in a Friday night tweet in which he bashed James and said Lemon’s interview made the new Los Angeles Lakers star “look smart.” The president also alluded to preferring Michael Jordan over James.

After four days, Trump finally let loose in a Friday night tweet in which he bashed James and said Lemon’s interview made the new Los Angeles Lakers star “look smart.” The president also alluded to preferring Michael Jordan over James.

James sat down with Lemon for the interview Monday after he cut the ribbon on his foundation’s new I Promise School in his native Akron, Ohio. James spoke at length on the intersection of sports, culture and politics.

James lamented Trump “using sports to kinda divide us, and that’s something that I can’t relate to.”

“Sports has never been something that divides people. It’s always been something that brings someone together,” he said.

James’ recent criticism of the president is not new. He has been an outspoken critic, famously calling Trump a “bum” after he rescinded a White House invitation to the Golden State Warriors this past season.

However, it appears Trump did not always feel that way toward James. In what is now a seemingly regular occurrence, there’s a tweet for that, as they say. In a post from May of 2013, Trump tweeted, “LeBron is a great player and a great guy!”

[USA Today]

Trump Tweets Out Swipe at the Media from Fox News’ Gutfeld: They’re ‘Good News Fire Extinguishers’

President Donald Trump tweeted out a quote from Fox News’ Greg Gutfeld praising Trump and dinging the media earlier tonight.

Gutfeld was mocking media coverage of Trump’s accomplishments, saying, “Donald Trump is the good news conductor… and the media are good news fire extinguishers.”

He said every time there’s good economic news the media nitpicks it. So perhaps it’s no surprise that the President tweeted out the quote.

[Mediaite]

Kellyanne Conway Slams Journalists With ‘Seven-Figure Contracts’ Who ‘Yuk It Up’ on Late Night TV

White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway took some shots at the media over their coverage of her boss, President Donald Trump.

Appearing on The Ingraham Angle Thursday night, Conway began by defending Trump supporters as they were “looked down upon” by folks like Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama, invoking their past rhetoric dismissing Middle America as “deplorables” and those who “cling” to God and guns.

“I’m not sure if they care anymore,” Conway told Laura Ingraham. “I speak to these people all the time. You know what they care about? They care they have a president who respects and takes action daily for the military, for the veterans, and for them.”

She then blasted the press for their reaction to the hostile rhetoric coming from the White House.

“A lot of these journalists have very expensive seven-figure contracts, go on late night TV where they can yuk it up with somebody equally situated, where they can just laugh all day long, particularly about the women in the Trump administration,” Conway continued. “And then they can go and give speeches — I mean, they speak for free every single day, and have a country doesn’t want to listen to them. And then somebody pays them a lot of money to give speeches, so they are raking it in.”

Conway added that Trump’s assertion that “nobody has been better for the media than him” is correct, citing the revenues and “popularity” of some of these journalists.

[Mediaite]

Trump blasts media amid chants of ‘CNN sucks’

After a day of tension between the White House and CNN, the crowd at President Trump’s Pennsylvania rally on Thursday night broke out into chants of “CNN sucks” when the president blasted “fake news.”

Trump at the rally in Wilkes-Barre cited multiple examples of what he called “fake news,” including saying the “fake news refused to call” Pennsylvania for him during the 2016 presidential election.

The crowd responded with boos and jeers, with some chanting, “CNN sucks.”

Trump later returned to the issue of the media during the rally, asking, “Whatever happened to fair press? Whatever happened to honest reporting?”

He also referred to the media as “disgusting.”

[The Hill]

Reality

Here is NBC at 5:04 PM on November 8th, 2016 calling Pennsylvania and the presidency to Donald Trump.

Media

 

 

 

Sarah Sanders presents the official White House policy: The media is the enemy of the people

When President Trump derides the media as the enemy of the people — as he’s doing more frequently — he’s not just spouting off his momentary frustration. He’s stating official White House policy.

The White House just made that abundantly clear. Four times in two days, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was offered the opportunity by reporters to clarify whether the president really thinks journalists are the enemy of Americans, or that it’s wrong for people to harass journalists doing their job. It wouldn’t be the first time an official White House statement contradicted something the president said or tweeted.

But four times in two days, Sanders refused to say that the media is not the enemy of the people or to condemn people who heckled a CNN reporter Tuesday in Tampa, to the point where he feared someone was going to get hurt.

Instead, the White House press secretary ticked off a list of sometimes-inaccurate and sometimes-unrelated grievances about how these hyperpartisan times have affected her life and the president’s life, and why they blame journalists for that.

“The media continues to ratchet up the verbal assault against the president and everyone in his administration,” Sanders said.

Basically: The White House thinks that journalists are the enemy of the people.

I don’t need to get into here why this is a problem; that’s Democracy 101.

But it’s worth spending a moment on where we are, both because having this debate in the first place is not normal and because it is shaping up to be a front line in the political battle between right and left in 2018.

In a week full of tension between journalists and Trump and Trump supporters, the most heady moment so far came Thursday, when the journalist at the center of so many attacks from the right (including from the president himself), CNN’s Jim Acosta, twice asked Sanders if she would say that the media is not the enemy of the people.

He was following up on an earlier question in the briefing about how Ivanka Trump said she doesn’t agree with her father that the press is the country’s enemy. Trump later tried to square her statement with his own by claiming he doesn’t think all media is the enemy, just most of it.

“… [I]t would be a good thing if you were to say right here at this briefing that the press — the people who are gathered in this room right now, doing their jobs every day, asking questions of the people like the ones you brought forward earlier — are not the enemy of the people,” Acosta said. “I think we deserve that.”

Instead, Sanders looked down at her notes and appeared to read a prepared statement about her perceived grievances with the media; how, among other things, she was cruelly made fun of by a comedian at the 2018 White House Correspondents’ Association dinner. (The association said Michelle Wolf’s performance “was not in the spirit” of the mission of promoting the free press.)

I mention Sanders reading from her notes because it’s a telling detail that she had something ready to go on this. It suggests she knew that she was going to be asked about Trump’s views on the media, she had talked about it with the president, and they decided not to back down, even on the basic question of whether the media contributes a public good to U.S. democracy.

Not that her response was a surprise. On Wednesday, a reporter asked Sanders if she would condemn the heckling of Acosta at Trump’s rally. The president tweeted the heckling to his 53.5 million followers.

Rather than denounce what happened to Acosta, Sanders used that opportunity to rip the media. She didn’t help her contention when she seized on a debunked story about the hunt for Osama bin Laden.

Acosta tried again. His question is worth sharing in full because it felt like a moment that may stand out in the dozens of daily contentious moments between the Trump White House and journalists:

You did not say in the course of your remarks you just made that the press is not the enemy of the people. Are we to take it from what you just said — we all get put through the ringer, we all get put in the meat grinder in this town, and you’re no exception. I’m sorry that happened to you; I wish that would not have happened — but for the sake of this room, the people who are in this room, this democracy, this country, all the people around the world who are watching, what are you saying Sarah, and the White House for the United States of America, the president of the United States should not refer to us as the enemy of the American people. His own daughter acknowledged that and all I’m asking you to do, Sarah, is to acknowledge that right now and right here.

Sanders did not take him up on that: “I appreciate your passion, I share it. I addressed this question, I addressed my personal feelings. I’m here to speak on behalf of the president. He’s made his comments clear.”

Acosta walked out of the press briefing before it was over. He was downright exasperated.

Bashing the media to gain leverage with one’s supporters is a tactic as old as American politics. But Trump has taken it to new heights by using language that dictators of history also have seize on. He’s exploited heavy public skepticism in journalism to cast journalists as the main villains when things go wrong in his administration. As The Fix’s Eugene Scott wrote after a man gunned down journalists at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis in June:

Those disinclined to trust the media get reinforcement when highly influential politicians and partisan media figures elevate the critiques, sometimes making personal jabs at journalists’ motives and their character. What may start as a difference of opinion eventually becomes a direct assault on the humanity of those in the media — something that those following press freedom issues have witnessed in other parts of the world.

A sitting Republican senator, Jeff Flake (Ariz.), started out 2018 by comparing Trump to Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin over his attacks on the media.

At the same time, there is less room for journalists to make mistakes now that Trump has made them a central character in his own political story. On Wednesday a Politico reporter apologized for calling the Trump supporters cursing out Acosta “garbage people.” His apology made national headlines.

None of this is fading anytime soon. It’s a safe bet things are only going to get worse between journalists and the White House and some of Trump’s supporters before — if — they get better. What that will do to journalism, to politics, to democracy is an open, even scary question.

[Washington Post]

Protesters Escorted Out of Trump Rally in Tampa

President Donald Trump‘s rally in Tampa tonight was briefly disrupted by two protesters.

Rallygoers booed and cameras picked up the protesters being escorted out of the venue.

The President briefly riffed and said, “One person. And tomorrow the headlines will be MASSIVE PROTEST.”

[Mediaite]

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