The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from

Foreign journalists let Donald Trump know that his authoritarian claims of fake news aren’t going to be shrugged off, the way so many American journalists now do when the president unleashes reckless, dangerous attacks on the free press.

After delivering a speech to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Trump agreed to a brief question-and-answer session, where he was asked what in his life had prepared him for the presidency.

The narcissist in chief immediately started taking about his press coverage and how much media attention he’s received his entire adult life.

“And throughout my whole life — someone will explain someday why — but I’ve always gotten a lot. And as a businessman I was always treated really well by the press. You know, the numbers speak and things happen, but I’ve always really had a very good press.”

The lifelong publicity hound then complained his favorable press coverage vanished when he decided to run for office.

That thin-skinned charge was immediately met with a wave of boos and jeers from foreign press.

Foreign journos sitting next to me booed Trump’s attack on the press.

By contrast, Trump’s attorneys refused to deny the story.

As for Trump’s whining about his campaign coverage, many studies have shown that he benefited from the media’s relentless and mindless obsession on Hillary Clinton’s emails during the campaign.

Not only did Trump receive far less negative coverage than Clinton in 2016, according to an exhaustive review by the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, but Trump received more overall press attention. Additionally, Clinton’s so-called scandals got more press coverage than Trump’s.

As president, Trump’s vicious attacks on the free press have earned him the “top oppressor” label from the Committee to Protect Journalists, beating out some of the world’s worst dictators, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

Trump’s “fake news” attacks and insistence that he’s a victim might work with his conservative media enablers at home — but as he found at Davos, the rest of the world knows better.

Eric Boehlert is a veteran progressive writer for Media Matters and Salon and author of two books: Lapdogs: How The Press Rolled Over for Bush, and Bloggers On The Bus. Follow him on Twitter @ericboehlert.


Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer

Washington (AFP) - Republicans in the US Senate prevented action Thursday on a bill to address domestic terrorism in the wake of a racist massacre at a grocery store in upstate New York.

Democrats had been expecting defeat but were seeking to use the procedural vote to highlight Republican opposition to tougher gun control measures following a second massacre at a Texas elementary school on Tuesday.

Keep reading... Show less

Jimmy Kimmel

Image via YouTube

The totally needless killing of 19 school children and two teachers in the latest school shooting shows once again that we're a nation on the verge of total disaster.

Never hesitant to nail hypocritical Republicans, Jimmy Kimmel began his show without an audience on Wednesday and delivered a poignant monologue about the massacre at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas that left 19 children and two teachers dead. Kimmel blasted feckless Republicans by noting most Americans support common-sense gun laws, but the legislation stalls “because our cowardly leaders just aren’t listening to us ― they’re listening to the NRA.”

Keep reading... Show less
{{ }}