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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Published with permission from Media Matters for America.

That was quite a temper tantrum Donald Trump threw at his press conference this week.

Irked that news reports raised questions about his promised donations to American veterans and their charities, Trump responded by denouncing the political press as “disgusting” and “among the most dishonest people that I’ve ever met.” Trump even dismissed one ABC News reporter as “a sleaze,” and mocked another from CNN as “a real beauty.”

Trash talking the press is hardly new for Trump. During the primary season, he routinely set aside time at rallies to denigrate journalists as “scum” and “disgusting”; attacks his supporters often amplified in person and online.

What made Trump’s meltdown this week so noteworthy, and probably what shocked the Beltway media, was that it came during the general election campaign season, where these kinds of vicious, personal attacks coming directly from the presumptive nominee are unheard of.

“Mr. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, assailed those reporting on his candidacy with a level of venom rarely seen at all, let alone in public, from the standard-bearer of a major political party,” The New York Times reported. (GOP media bashing is most often handled by surrogates and by Republican allies in the press.)

Yes, some previous Republican nominees have chastised the press, sometimes with glee and sometimes with genuine disdain. “Annoy the Media: Re-elect Bush” bumper stickers were a favorite among Republicans during George H.W. Bush’s 1992 re-election run. Sen. John McCain’s campaign denounced The New York Times for an article it published in 2008 detailing McCain’s closeness to a lobbyist. (Many people read the article as an implication of an affair between McCain and the lobbyist, but the paper eventually update it with a “Note to Readers” saying it “did not intend to conclude” that the lobbyist had “engaged in a romantic affair” with McCain.)

But overall, McCain enjoyed warm relations with reporters during his 2008 run, and those previous press attacks weren’t nearly as ferocious and personal as Trump’s are today. (Can you imagine Bush Sr. calling an ABC reporter a “sleaze” during a 1992 press conference?) Those attacks were never seen as being a pillar of a November campaign, the way Trump is promising his media insults will continue in coming months.

What Trump’s doing is employing a right-wing talk radio dream strategy, where whining about the so-called liberal media is elevated and presented as a pressing issue facing America.

And that’s why Rush Limbaugh was so ecstatic in the wake of Trump’s public tantrum. “That was the kind of press conference Republicans voters have been dying to see for who knows how many years,” the talker gushed. “Trump felt the need to correct the record today and did so in his own inimitable way, which basically attacked the media for dishonesty and corruption.”

Fox News’ Peter Johnson Jr. was equally animated. He cheered Trump for “saying, ‘I have a message, you may not like it, but you’re not going to take me down. I will be heard fair and square. I will either win or lose. But I will not lose because of an unfair media.’”

Obviously, there’s nothing wrong with questioning the press and holding journalists accountable. But that’s not what Trump’s doing. He’s wallowing in self-pity without producing any proof of media malfeasance. Trump can’t point to any factual errors in the reporting on his charitable giving; the story that set off his most recent anti-media screed.

Complaining about so-called liberal media bias has been a hallmark of the conservative movement for decades, and has sometimes been featured as a sidebar during presidential campaigns. Trump now wants to move it to the main stage. But hurdles appear on the horizon.

First, he’s already won the Republican primary, which is more likely the season to energize hardcore supporters with allegations of media manipulation. That’s why this same anti-press crusade worked so well last November in the aftermath of the contentious Republican Party primary debate hosted by CNBC. Virtually all the candidates and most of the conservative media joined forces and issued indignant denunciations of CNBC’s allegedly dishonest debate moderators. The swarm served as a unifying ritual of outrage for the conservative movement.

Trump’s now in the general election and needs to expand his base beyond the true believers. To be successful in November, he’s trying to lure voters who have likely voted Democratic in the past and who don’t identify as Fox News fanatics. It’s less likely those types of crossover voters will be motivated by allegations that the press is out get Trump.

Secondly, a sizeable portion of the conservative media infrastructure isn’t supporting Trump. In fact, in a bizarre flip of the script previously documented by Media Matters, during the primary season some key conservative media voices have actually criticized the Beltway press for being too soft on the Republican nominee. So if there are Republican-friendly pundits on the record saying the press needs to be tougher on Trump, that obviously blunts the candidate’s claim that the “biased” media’s being too tough on him.

There’s also the issue of temperament and the fact that most voters think Trump is severely lacking in that area. A Fox News poll last month indicated 65 percent of voters don’t think Trump has the “temperament” to serve as president, and a CNN poll in May found the number was even higher: 70 percent.

Regularly staging campaign press conferences in coming months to pick fights with reporters is unlikely to improve Trump’s standing there.

Already committed to running a completely unorthodox campaign, Trump’s now gambling that press attacks can produce votes in November.

35 Responses to Can Trump Whine His Way To The White House With Complaints About “Biased” Media Coverage?

  1. Whine, gripe, and complain, is all the monied elite like Trump have ever had to do to collect trillions of undeserved handouts from the politicians they’ve they been buying off for years. And so, it’s only natural that Trump thinks whining is his ticket to the Oval Office. That, and like Romney before him, declaring himself smarter, more business savvy, and entitled to the job, for being born into his privilege instead of having to earn it, like us stupid commoners.

    • Bingo. It’s hard to believe that a guy born a multI millionaire even has the balls to whine about ANYTHING being unfair. He should ask one of his low income employees how life treats the less privileged.

  2. Like the rest of America, the media (reporters and journalists) have been dumbed down. Most of them have jobs due to nepotism. Reporters and journalists alike have become talk show personalities, as Americans turned to talk show radio for non-substantive news and analysis.

      • Do you have reading and comprehension skills? Read the article, at least the headline. Maybe then you will get my point.

    • The dumbing down may be true for conservatives media like Fox but not in the liberal NPR, they still try to educate. As far as nepotism, where did that come from. In an industry that is cutting jobs and big business is taking over nepotism isn’t real.

      • I hope you are right, for the sake of these United States, the most powerful and greatest country in the world!

  3. This man-baby has more temper tantrums than my 2 yr old grandson. He has a total lack of self-control, dignity and and gravitas. He is a whiner and a blamer who will embarrass the US continuously. I wouldn’t hire this guy to be a low-level manager in my company, let alone President of the US.

  4. Continue clicking his nerves media, this is only way to hold Trump accountable as he has proved so far, he can’t stand any critisism. Please do your work as it is supposed to be.

  5. Remember when Spiro Agnew claimed that the New York Times was biased?
    The Washington Post?
    He was our ONLY VP to enter a plea bargain!!
    Remember HIS “black panthers”?
    Perfectly clear?
    Didn’t Trump CLAIM that the NATIONAL INQUIRER is a reliable source?
    Remember Carol Burnett?

  6. If the press were doing their job, the rump would be hounded.
    Every contradiction would run on screen with his current ‘version’ and the press would play his quotes back to him. Expose the lying SOB so that his only recourse is to have a complete and public meltdown. Let him run home with his hideous hair and tiny hands so that he can whine from some corner about how mean people are to him. And good riddance…

  7. Wasn’t it also Bernie Sanders early in the campaign who expressed (read whined) his feeling he was being “ignored” by the media too?

    These guys are not exactly setting the best examples of mature mentalities to our younger generations. Whine and you should immediately get whatever you want? Yeah…that’ll work. NOT.

    What I find so amusing is that these guys want media coverage but only on their terms. Dig a little too deeply into their past or their dirty deals and they scream “unfair!” Ignore them and they feel “deprived.” Post facts and they call them lies. Mental patients do this. Not mature minded adults.

  8. The frump is a whining sissy who deserves no press coverage for his nasty words and his degrading attacks on other people. Stop covering the POS.


    • But you know even after all of the whining and bigoted statements he made the press will still love the jerk.

  9. The only reason this crybaby is the nominee is the results of all the free advertising by the media, who we can blame for his position now. Shame on the media for inflicting him on us time after time.


    • Media does not automatically translate into votes as Karl Rove and the Koch brothers have learned. American’s who indentify as Republicans went to the primary polls and voted for him. He is the GOP’s standard bearer, the GOP must own him. All senior party leaders have gone on the record as supporting him. Like Trump, you can blame the media, but they are not the ones who voted for him. Trump is the GOP in America today, shameless, gleefully ignorant, and totally self serving.

  10. The puffy orange one is looking and acting more & more like he is having a mental breakdown. He makes more crazy faces than any orangutan in the zoo. If he weren’t rich everybody would be saying that he is deranged and needs to go into therapy. Its amazing watching him. Its like his puffy face is about to explode. The way he kept saying “I’m building a wall” to Jake Tapper, sounded just like a lunatic’s musing.

  11. He did admit that he usually whines till he gets his way. I say let him whine when he is sent to prison for fraud.

    • The Federal prisons will be full with Barak, Hilary, Holder, Lois Lerner and a host of other Obama cabinet officials

      • Are you ignorant, stupid or is your religious -RW lies?
        Congress has spent millions investigating and the incompetent oafs you and your ilk elected to office show themselves to be incapable of locating their asses even if they have their hands behind them.
        Your ignorance is not as valid as anyone’s knowledge. Make no mistake the meek may inherit the earth but the willfully ignorant will not.

        • Oldfed isn’t a fed, he’s Dan Ketter from Virginia. After evading the military draft to stay in college, dan tried unsuccessfully to get a job with the federal govt, and hates black people and govt for this. Besides trolling the web, Dan dresses up in military uniforms and poses himself as a veteran out in public, telling people and little kids that he fought against commies. Here’s his bio:

  12. All is understandable when you understand that Trump, like Hitler and Mussolini, has an acute and intractable mental disorder, narcissistic personality disorder. Look it up and read something about it on the internet. It is usually incurable and when one is a 69-yr old multi-billionaire who’s had it all of his life it is most assuredly incurable.
    If Trump is elected, reasonable consequences might be: stumbling into world war III (nuclear), civil war, suspension of the Constitution, impeachment and possible conviction, suspension of the Federal courts” jurisdiction over the executive branch…and yes, assassination, attempts and perhaps accomplishment, of President Trump.
    That is how serious it is.
    I am now 77 years old and have been voting for presidents since 1960 when I turned 21-then the voting age. I have seen all kinds of people, good, bad, very bad run both as major party and independent candidates. With Trump our country has now reached the rock bottom of political decline and true moral decline. Nobody with any sense of moral uprightness could support Trump regardless of their party. That the great majority of Republican leaders are shows how far we have declined politically…not one single Republican president in my lifetime, were they alive today, would support Donald Trump–indeed most would denounce him. That includes Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan, both Bushes.
    I tremble for the nation’s future although at my age I may not live long enough to see the worst consequences if the radical, fascistic, rightwing extremists, who now ARE the Republican Party, are not decisively put down.

    • Nonsense the country hit the bottom when 4 million illegals were able to vote for Obama by absentee ballot. We hit bottom when the Messiah became immune from our laws and has no compunction about breaking them even spending $$ that was never appropriated.

      • So he’s your messiah? Guess he provides you with a target for your delusions and lies.
        Source for your assertions?

      • ←But you’re not really an oldfed, you’re a military impostor Dan Ketter from Williamsburg VA, an old relic from the automotive industry. Poser dan actually hid out in college for 6 years getting a business degree to avoid military service during Vietnam, then tried unsuccessfully to get a govt job after the draft ended. In his retirement, Dan likes to put on military uniforms he purchased from a surplus store and walk around the local stores, telling people how he fought against commies and keeping our country safe.

  13. Hmmm Trump is a whiner?? When will the media start reporting who’s $$ are behind all the riots at Trump rallies rather than just the noise?? Time for the press to start being unbiased for a change

    • ←But you’re not really an oldfed, you’re a wannnabe fake military poser Dan Ketter. Coward dan successfully hid out in college for 6 years getting a business degree to avoid military service during Vietnam, then unsuccessfully tried to get a govt job after the draft ended, becoming a 7-year welfare queen inbetween. Dan’s brother finally got him on Ford Motors payroll as a incompetent non-union parts clerk with 0 responsibilities and a 4-hour loafing day at the office.

  14. Hillary should be the one chastising the biased media as they’ve been buying and dogging her for years on the made up GOP Republican based “scandals”. The media is biased but not against Trump as he thinks. They’re the reason the Entertainer Drumpf has gotten this far in the first place!

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