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Trump meets the press and excoriates them

Trump meets the press and excoriates them

But why do you think he did it?

By now you probably have read the stories about how Trump called a meeting with the press, only to give them a dressing down. If you don’t care all that much—well, the press certainly does.

Just as an example, read this from David Remnick of the New Yorker:

The fantasy of the normalization of Donald Trump—the idea that a demagogic candidate would somehow be transformed into a statesman of poise and deliberation after his Election Day victory—should now be a distant memory, an illusion shattered.

First came the obsessive Twitter rants directed at “Hamilton” and “Saturday Night Live.” Then came Monday’s astonishing aria of invective and resentment aimed at the media, delivered in a conference room on the twenty-fifth floor of Trump Tower…

For more than twenty minutes, Trump railed about “outrageous” and “dishonest” coverage…

This is where we are. The President-elect does not care who knows how unforgiving or vain or distracted he is. This is who he is…

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.” …

“I have to tell you, I am emotionally fucking pissed,” another participant said. “How can this not influence coverage? I am being totally honest with you. Toward the end of the campaign, it got to a point where I thought that the coverage was all about [Trump’s] flaws and problems. And that’s legit. But, I thought, O.K., let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. After the meeting today, though—and I am being human with you here—I think, Fuck him! I know I am being emotional about it. And I know I will get over it in a couple of days after Thanksgiving. But I really am offended. This was unprecedented. Outrageous!”

So, who sounds more like blustering blowhards, Trump or the quoted press (quoted by the sympathetic Remnick)? Who sounds more vain and distracted, Trump or the quoted press? Who sounds more full of invective and resentment, Trump or the quoted press? Who sounds more outrageous and out of line (not to mention biased), Trump or the quoted press?

And who outside of the press thinks the press was fair to Trump after his nomination? It was fairly clear during his campaign that—after the first month or two of unfavorable press coverage didn’t hurt him, and it became apparent he wasn’t just a joke but had a chance for the nomination—that the press was essentially fattening him up for the kill (in the metaphoric sense), promoting him till he was nominated and then portraying him unfavorably afterward so that their favored one, Hillary, could beat him.

It didn’t quite work out that way.

I think an interesting question right now is why Trump called the meeting in the first place, only to excoriate the press during it. So I’ve prepared a little survey, with a choice of answers:

(1) He didn’t excoriate them; the press lied about how he behaved in order to smear him.

(2) He didn’t plan to criticize them so strongly, but he’s emotionally impulsive and lost control of himself.

(3) He purposely did it because he was angry with them, but thought they’d keep it off the record, as he’d requested of them.

(4) He purposely did it because he thought it would intimidate them into covering him more fairly in the future.

(5) He purposely did it and knew it would be leaked, because he wanted to play to the majority of Americans who happen to agree with him that the press is a bunch of no-good liars.

(6) He purposely did it and knew it would be leaked, because he figured it would cause the public to discount future bad press for Trump as a spiteful and retaliative backlash on the part of the press.

(7) He purposely did it and he knew that articles such as Remnick’s, quoting the over-the-top nearly-hysterical reaction of the press, would be written, and that those articles would end up reflecting poorly on the press. In other words, he set a trap for the press, and they fell right into it.

(8) None of the above.

You can choose more than one answer.

[Neo-neocon is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at neo-neocon.]


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UnCivilServant | November 25, 2016 at 7:40 am

I could only narrow down to #1, 5, 6 or 7. But I do admit it’s because of my opinion of the press that I think tht way rather than any evidence.

No. 7.

Trump is no media babe-in-the-woods.

#5 And #7

Agenda: There is no one who gather’s a fortune like Trumps without strategy. Although he’s an imperfect politician, he does have an agenda for this country that his base agrees with.

The half-truths of the media are to be expected, so he had to neuter their affect and power to weave illusion early. How best to do that than through ridicule and attacking their pride. Again, they were ‘played’!

(7), mostly.

It seems that post-election, Trump’s not willing to play along with “the system”; pretend that everything’s fine, and it’s going to be business as usual from here on out. I’m sure the press expected him to slack off a bit after Nov. 8. They still don’t understand him … not at all.

Instead, he set about establishing who’s the alpha dog in that pack. And why not? He’s the f’n President-Elect, and they’re a bunch of losers. It doesn’t hurt Trump at all to remind them of that. In an earlier era, he’d have walked in, immediately shot the two biggest offenders (or, à la Al Capone, bludgeoned them to death with a Louisville Slugger), and told the others that they’d better “fly right” or tighten their seatbelts for a rough ride. In our current namby-pamby milieu, he had to tone that down a bit.

There’s no strong reason not to terrorize them right off. They’re certainly planning to continue their attempts to manipulate and spampede him, and it’s hardly unfair that he play the same game against them, even if he plays it better than they do.

It’s not a good technique to apply to all of his opponents. And he’s not trying to do so. But there’s no advantage to waiting until after Inauguration before rattling the press, and doing it good and hard.

Old technique in street-fighting; get in your first punch, a solid one straight to your opponent’s head, while he’s still talking. Don’t wait for him to “get ready”; that’s for a boxing ring, but not when it’s for real.

pablo panadero | November 25, 2016 at 8:15 am

The right answer isn’t there. It’s simply because he could, and no other president ever could do that.

Gotta agree with 7 and the press is going out of its way to prove him right on a daily basis.

Don’t you just love the smell of [the medias] desperation first thing in the morning.

These clowns can’t help themselves…they haven’t learnt the lesson from the election that the more they denigrate him, the better he looks!

Long live the useful fools in the mfm 🙂


    UnCivilServant in reply to mailman. | November 25, 2016 at 8:38 am

    You have to remember, they went to journalism school, which long ago dropped critical thinking from its requirements in favor of more indoctrination. The ability to react to a changing context is not something they can manage, so when an out-of-context event happens, they don’t know what to do except keep repeating the same magic words which have lost their former potency.

I guess they won’t be holding the White House press corps annual dinner at Trump International Hotel next year.

I vote 7. I would add that this.the YouTube video releases and the Twitter account all show he is playing the long game. He wants to get people used to the idea that they don’t need the press as his go-between to the public. He can speak directly to the American people without network TV, without an interview in the NY Times and indeed without any press coverage.

The mainstream press is most afraid of being made irrelevant.

    UnCivilServant in reply to MIK. | November 25, 2016 at 8:48 am

    The mainstream press is most afraid of being made irrelevant.

    A fear they have done their darndest to make reality.

I think he did it because it just felt good.


And I still don’t get why these people still have their jobs.

They got everything wrong this election – their analysis was wrong, their punditry was wrong, their polling was wrong.

And they colluded with the DNC and Team Hillary to deny Sander’s the nomination.

Worse, they created a gaggle of false narratives that only served to blind their own people.

If I owned CNN, NYTs, WaPo, et al, I would fire them all. I can get this level of journalistic incompetence at HuffPo for free.

Why do they still have jobs? If any one of us failed this miserably at our own jobs, we would be shown the door.

Hahahahahhah, Remnick’s pathetic whine-tasting party just gets better each time I re-read it.

It’s like a YouTube video of skateboard stunt accidents—a non-stop parade of broken bones and epic face-plants, all of them richly deserved.

Pure Grand Guignol theatre, but for real.

Number 7 for sure. The media doesn’t have a clue about how to deal with a leader who has a pair. I was worried at first, but now I can see the next eight years are going to be fun.

How about he did it because they deserved it?

Jeff Zucker is a world class slimeball. His CNN leaked debate questions to Hillary, and let Hillary’s team pick questions at the Republican debate.

Wikileaks’ Podesta email dump even had a list of journalists that the Clinton campaign believed were total hacks for them.

How do you release the news, if these hacks are in charge? You cannot.


The MSM is a bully. With a bully, one has basically three options:
1) Ignore him. He can do this only to a very limited extent, such as by producing his own videos to reach the voters.
2) Submit. This has been the main path for the eGOP and helped pave the road for Trump to win POTUS. I suspect this is not in Trump’s character.
3) Fight back hard. This let’s the bully know that he will either get his ass kicked or he better “be nice” around you. I do not think the MSM is smart enough to play nice so Trump needs to be ready to kick their asses right off the planet. Maybe the “press” can be the first to colonize Mars to escape climate change (Mars has no climate so this makes sense to some).

Trump will be in a street fight every day. He better be ready to hit hard. This was a very good first step.

Or to cover the fact that he’s secretly a deep deep deep undercover Liberal? Jkjk(I hope not)

I find it interesting having a cunning president. I think the most ironic thing that may come out of this Presidency is all the condescending Liberal sycophants in academia and media are going to be outed as utter morons – in comparison to Trump. They all harmonize around their masters’ interest spewing talking points and he plays them like a fiddle.

Maybe wishful thinking, but that’s what I’m seeing so far

Why should Trump want to “normalize” the corrupt MSM?

I’d have to go with #1, #5, or #7. All primes.

I lean towards DJT using a bit of Rush’s tactics on the Left here. He knows that anything he says or does will be interpreted in the least favorable light, and uses that to position the media where he can dump on them squarely.

He also knows that many of us flyover types detest the condescension of the major media.

He put the ball on the tee, and watched the liberals swing at it.

Only one way to keep the press on a short leash. Deny them credentials to get into the White House Press room or any other venue that the Trump Administration shows at.

This thread isn’t complete until Rags checks in and delivers the Truth.

This is all about reporters suffering under the delusion that they are special, that they are not mere tradesmen like any plumber or electrician, but rather are an integral part of our system of government. It all stems from the way they have learned to read the first amendment as singling them out for special protection; it doesn’t, of course, but they are convinced it does, and they have convinced the vast majority of people that it does. They fancy themselves a “fourth estate”, while I bet few or none of them can name the first three. Trump was simply confronting them with the reality that they are not special, and that when they are unfair to him, as they blatantly have been, he can summon them and tell them off for it. I am still #NeverTrump, but in this instance good on him. He did the right thing.

I do not think that Trump lost control nor that this was particularly Machiavellian. This was simply the President Elect making it clear that he would not put up with the media’s exhibited behavior toward him.

Throughout the campaigns, the media actively worked for Trump’s opponents. Not only that, but they did so using inaccurate facts, innuendo and outright fabrication. Trump was warning them that he would not put up with such behavior from the press.

Did he expect it to be leaked? I’m sure his staff did. And, if it was not leaked, by the media, there is a reasonable expectation that Trump operatives would have leaked it.

What is interesting is that the next day, he met with the staff of the NYT, on the record. I think that this was both a meet and greet and a trial run to gauge the new level of objective reporting by the press. It showed that the same systemic problems still exist. If one reads the transcript of the NYTs interview [posted here – ], the headlines and reports of Trump’s statements on many topics, such as the prosecution of Clinton and global warming, were totally misreported. Just as they have in the past.

It is unlikely that the arrogance of the media will allow it to begin reporting accurately where Trump is concerned. So, look for action from President Trump in response.

    CloseTheFed in reply to Mac45. | November 25, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    To Mac45: Great analysis of the mechanics of this. You’re right: the NYT interview and subsequent reporting were good tests and they failed.

I’ll go with 7 as well and pair that with his U Tube presentation later about his 100 day plans. He has accomplished at least three things: 1) That he won’t stand quietly and let the media run rough shod over him; 2) that their “off the record” agreements aren’t worth spit; 3) that he doesn’t need them to communicate with America.

Why not?
They had it coming.
By the way… what is a Neocon?
A conservative Democrat? I honestly have no idea…

They won’t take it laying down. But Trump knows that.

Wasn’t WolfyBlitz at that meeting? And what’s he done since? Do his damnedest to paint Trump as a Nazi, that’s what. To the point he made himself look dumber than on his Jeopardy appearance. No small feat, there.

Trump offered the Press the benefit of the doubt and they attacked him, repeatedly, viciously. So, he cordially invited them to publicly expose their bias, even prejudice, and they enthusiastically accepted and confirmed their character. The Press was on trial. Well, not the whole Press, since there is no principled alignment between JournoLists of the Fourth Estate and journalists.

5 and 7

Part #5, part #7. You have to remember, the press will *constantly* step in it, even when it is pointed out to them in great detail.
In short: We’re hamsters, the press is Bart Simpson, and Trump is Lisa.

I don’t know and I do t care! Just love that he turns them in slobbering fools!

#5 and #7.

This was a deliberate act on the part of President Elect Trump (my guess is probably at the explicit direction of Steve Bannon).

The Trump team knows that the press is going to give them bad coverage. They learned well the lessons of the Bush administration.

This is a preemptive strike to salt the earth, start with the press gasping in horror that the President elect could be so base, so vile as to tell them off for being ass-hats to him for the entire campaign.

So, this was the opening shot. My guess is that monthly or more often President Trump will take to the bully pulpit that he has and call out at least one, if not more, of the Main Stream Morons as liars. He’s going to drive them right out of business as he reaches the normally uninvolved public and drives them from watching the alphabet soup media into the waiting arms of Conservative media.

Either their coverage will become more favorable or they’ll start to lose advertisers as Trump weekly calls them out on their bullshit and the public realizes how they’ve been led down the garden path for the past 16 years.

I find it amusing that you chose the faux intellectual David Remnick of the New Yorker as the representative whiner for the press. In my opinion, and given the man’s other writings about Trump since he started running under the Republican label, the quoted article is probably about the same as what he was planning on writing, anyway.

Assuming DJT actually writes most of his own tweets, he is very familiar with the contents of the various sets of leaked/disclosed documents during the campaign, as well as the lurid misquotes people like Remnick have served up about his rallies and speeches.

Under these circumstances, a re-set was in order. I believe he set out to accomplish 5 and 7, and did so.

“To sweep all 50 states, the President would only need to do 2 things…”

#5, #6, #7