President Trump and His ‘Failing @nytimes’ Groundhog Day Loop

What do you call it when correcting the record doesn't work?

President Trump’s “failing @nytimes” tweet from yesterday was not his first of the week. It was not even the first to be accompanied by a link to a Monday piece in the New York Post by John Crudele headlined, The New York Times’ ongoing dishonesty only helps Trump.

There were attempts by news orgs to fact-check those tweets, not the first time those same tweeted assertions on the part of President Trump had been challenged.

No, the Times is not failing, and, as CNN pointed out Wednesday, the publication has enjoyed a 30 percent rise in the value of its shares since the election. And no, the Times did not apologize to its readers, something the Times’ communications team reiterated in its own response to the president’s tweet.

Those were some of the responses just to President Trump’s Tuesday and Wednesday tweet. And yet, the same construct reappeared yesterday, this time with an added question, “Change libel laws?” It was a desire he had expressed on the campaign trail.

While that added question garnered attention from a media that has been regularly targeted by the president, CNN’s Tom Kludt, for one, doesn’t think it’s an actionable desire. “For one thing, there is no single law that could be changed, other than the First Amendment and the protections it gives. Libel laws vary by state; there is no federal libel law,” he writes. On the federal level, the First Amendment rules, and the Supreme Court tends to favor strong First Amendment protections.

And so, Groundhog Day. Not the kind where Bill Murray uses the new knowledge he gains each time his day repeats to eventually allows him to escape his predicament, but one in which no new knowledge is gained, or it is ignored. The only remaining question is if whether this constitutes enough intent to call the tweets lies.