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The media is always on Pres. Trump’s mind, and the Fourth Estate came up once again during an impromptu, on-the-record 30-minute interview with the New York Times’s Michael Schmidt.
Trump, who likes to criticize his hometown paper as “The Failing New York Times,” said yesterday that the paper and other media outlets cannot survive without him and will consequently soften their coverage to make sure he wins in 2020.
“I’m going to win another four years is because newspapers, television, all forms of media will tank if I’m not there because without me, their ratings are going down the tubes. Without me, The New York Times will indeed be not the failing New York Times, but the failed New York Times. So they basically have to let me win,” he said.
“And eventually, probably six months before the election, they’ll be loving me because they’re saying, ‘Please, please, don’t lose Donald Trump.’ O.K.”
The president is right that in saying that media outlets have seen profit growth. Ratings for the cable news networks are up year-over-year, as are digital subscriptions for America’s preeminent newspapers like the New York Times and Washington Post. Now, whether or not the growth is directly attributable to him can be up for debate, but CBS chief Les Moonves seems to think so when he made the controversial statement in 2016 that Trump’s campaign, “may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.”
During the interview, which took place at his golf club, Pres. Trump also commented that he can afford to be “treated unfairly and very dishonestly by CNN” because of he has a massive social media following, which allows him to deliver his own message to his supporters, unfiltered.