Donald Trump met with 25 television executives and anchors on Monday and according to Politico, told them that he would like a “cordial” and “productive” relationship with them:
According to one source in the room, but he still aired some grievances during the off-the-record gathering in Trump Tower.
The source said the meeting started with a typical Trump complaint about the “dishonest media,” and that he specifically singled out CNN and NBC News for example as “the worst.”
He also complained about photos of himself that NBC used that he found unflattering, the source said.
The New York Post painted a far more contentious meeting, quoting one anonymous source as characterizing the meeting as being “like a fucking firing squad.” The Post story stated that the president elect called CNN reporters “liars” and that they should be “ashamed” of the way they have covered him. David Remnick as The New Yorker spoke to some of the people present at the meeting and had this to say about it:
For more than twenty minutes, Trump railed about “outrageous” and “dishonest” coverage. When he was asked about the sort of “fake news” that now clogs social media, Trump replied that it was the networks that were guilty of spreading fake news. The “worst,” he said, were CNN (“liars!”) and NBC….
The over-all impression of the meeting from the attendees I spoke with was that Trump showed no signs of having been sobered or changed by his elevation to the country’s highest office. Rather, said one, “He is the same kind of blustering, bluffing blowhard as he was during the campaign.”
Another participant at the meeting said that Trump’s behavior was “totally inappropriate” and “fucking outrageous.” The television people thought that they were being summoned to ask questions; Trump has not held a press conference since late July. Instead, they were subjected to a stream of insults and complaints—and not everyone absorbed it with pleasure.
The spin from the Trump people has been predictably ridiculous, with senior advisor and chief bullshit artist Kellyanne Conway describing it as a “very cordial, candid, and honest” meeting. By honest, Conway clearly means completely dishonest given the media outlets Trump criticized did nothing more than report on his own words during the campaign season.
In Trump’s world, he can threaten journalists, lie on an hourly basis, pledge to lock up political opponents on live television, get caught bragging about sexual assault, and pledge to hound Muslims out of the country without any recourse whatsoever. Just as he claimed the Clinton campaign was unfairly smearing him by running ads of him talking, he seems to think the press has a duty not to report on anything that will make him look bad. If this is the case, the press should just stop covering him altogether given he is incapable of going more than a day without attacking someone on Twitter.
After his vitriolic attack, Trump apparently asked for a “reset button” with the media. How they choose to respond to Trump’s thinly veiled threats remains to be seen, but given their history of bowing to Republican strongmen, it would be prudent not to hope for much.
But from all of us here at The Daily Banter, we can assure the new President that he will get no such reset button. We will not forget the appalling campaign he ran for president, the lies he told, the women he abused, or the minorities he has pledged to persecute. We will not forget the racist disrespect he showed President Obama or ignore the bigots he has surrounded himself with. We will not forget the majority of Americans who voted against him, and we will not normalize this man’s presence in the White House. If Trump thinks running for president was bad, he hasn’t seen anything yet.
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Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.