Apparently the first post-election meeting between president-elect Donald Trump and the great and the good of America’s television news media did not go entirely smoothly.
The New York Post reports:
Donald Trump scolded media big shots during an off-the-record Trump Tower sitdown on Monday, sources told The Post.
“It was like a f–ing firing squad,” one source said of the encounter.
“Trump started with [CNN chief] Jeff Zucker and said ‘I hate your network, everyone at CNN is a liar and you should be ashamed,’ ” the source said.
“The meeting was a total disaster. The TV execs and anchors went in there thinking they would be discussing the access they would get to the Trump administration, but instead they got a Trump-style dressing down,” the source added.
A second source confirmed the fireworks.
“The meeting took place in a big board room and there were about 30 or 40 people, including the big news anchors from all the networks,” the other source said.
“Trump kept saying, ‘We’re in a room of liars, the deceitful dishonest media who got it all wrong.’ He addressed everyone in the room calling the media dishonest, deceitful liars. He called out Jeff Zucker by name and said everyone at CNN was a liar, and CNN was [a] network of liars,” the source said.
“Trump didn’t say [NBC reporter] Katy Tur by name, but talked about an NBC female correspondent who got it wrong, then he referred to a horrible network correspondent who cried when Hillary lost who hosted a debate – which was Martha Raddatz who was also in the room.”
The stunned reporters tried to get a word in edgewise to discuss access to a Trump Administration.
Wait, and we’re supposed to feel sorry for them?
The pampered Washington television news aristocracy deserve absolutely no sympathy, and while I would much rather they received their dressing down from somebody more worthy of dispensing it than Donald Trump, I can only be glad that the shining ones from CNN and MSNBC were hauled over the coals and made to feel a little bad by somebody.
It was their greed, incompetence, fawning deference to power/celebrity and desperate search for ratings that brought us president-elect Trump in the first place. If CBS’s Les Moonves hadn’t slobbered at the thought of the ratings his network could get just from playing endless rambling footage from Trump rallies during the Republican primaries, if CNN hadn’t been so obsessed with their technical gizmos and determined to report on the presidential debates as though they were heavyweight boxing matches, if MSNBC wasn’t so blatantly in the pocket of the Clinton campaign, then we might not be in this position right now. But they did, and so here we are.
And consequently, Jeff Zucker, Wolf Blitzer, Martha Raddatz, George Stephanopoulos, everyone at CNN and MSNBC and most of the people at FOX (save Chris Wallace, who anchored by far the best of the three presidential debates) fully deserved to receive the hairdryer treatment from somebody (as in being yelled at and belittled, not having their ridiculous TV news hairdos volumized even further).
We need a media that will stand up to power and celebrity and ask difficult questions rather than allowing candidates to trot out rehearsed soundbites, not a bunch of slavish court reporters who instantly switched from curtseying around House Clinton to making an unseemly pilgrimage to Trump Tower to ingratiate themselves with their new overlord.
Like many people, I am gravely concerned about Donald Trump’s attitude toward the media (both in terms of press freedom and the access which his administration is willing to give journalists), but one still has to smile at the likes of Wolf Blitzer being sent packing from Trump Tower with a flea in their ear.
Apparently it is the turn of the print media tomorrow. As a group, they didn’t fall asleep on the job quite as badly as the television guys, but many of them deserve a roasting too. This should be fun to watch.
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