There may have never been a presidential candidate who has whined and complained about the treatment he is receiving in the media as much as has Donald Trump. The funny thing about his complaint is that many observers believe that the coverage of Trump has been deferential, almost to the point of fawning. That was never more in evidence than when the orange-haired mogul did one of his patented phone-in interviews with CNN on May 9.
Trump appeared on New Day with Chris Cuomo and after introducing Trump, Cuomo jumps right into the first question, asking the soon-to-be GOP nominee about his recent attacks on Hillary Clinton. On Saturday, Trump went after the Democratic frontrunner by bringing up the impeachment of her husband. He called Clinton “an enabler” of the former president’s womanizing behavior. Cuomo points out that women don’t like the attacks, and that they see them as “hypocritical” coming from Trump. Cuomo continues:
They [women] see it as proof that you have no real ideas to offer as president. What is your thinking on this line of attack?
Whoa. Good question, Chris. So how does Trump handle it? By changing the subject and putting Cuomo on the defensive. Trump replies, in his most “you hurt my little feelings” voice:
Well this is a nice way to start off the interview. First of all, you should congratulate me for having won the race. I thought, you know, at least there would be a small congratulations but I’m not surprised with CNN because that’s the way they treat Trump. You know, they call it the Clinton Network, and I believe that. So, uh, let’s start off right there.
Cuomo could have stuck to his guns and repeated the question. But continuing the tradition of pulling out the light kid gloves every time a member of the media faces off with the über-sensitive billionaire, Cuomo immediately backs off. “I did congratulate you, the last time we spoke,” he says. But he follows that with “congratulations on winning the big race.” In one brief instant Cuomo has allowed Trump to change the subject and dictate how the interview was going to proceed.
“You’re right, sometimes it’s good to restart,” Cuomo agrees. He offers the question to Trump again, in a sort of “kinder, gentler” form, and it gets brushed aside. The candidate never addresses the issue of why he is attacking a Democratic candidate for things her husband did, and Cuomo lets the matter drop. This is how the rest of the interview proceeds, with Trump either complaining about the questions, or simply talking about the things he wants to talk about.
At about the same time all of this was happening on CNN, iconic news anchor Tom Brokaw was on MSNBC, lamenting the fact that the media has allowed Trump to get away with routinely lying about matters great and small. Trump continues to play the weak-kneed, ratings driven American media for all it’s worth, and in the short-term at least, it looks like he will continue to get away with it. As CBS President Les Moonves said of Trump’s campaign in February, “It may not be good for America, but it is damn good for CBS.” And that’s really all you need to know about corporate media’s relationship with Donald J. Trump.
Here is Trump’s complete interview, via CNN:[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9z2WLwDC5Bo?rel=0]
Featured image via Spencer Platt/Getty Images