During the campaign, Republican nominee Donald Trump had no problem revealing the media as despicable, dishonest cheats. But that was the campaign, right? Surely he’s going to be cozier with the suzerains of 24-hour cable news and major networks now that he’s been elected, right?
That’s at least what a bevy of media executives thought as they piled in to a boardroom at Trump Tower for a meeting with the president-elect.
Instead, as one anonymous source who was witness to the proceedings told the New York Post, they walked into something “like a f***ing firing squad.”
“Trump started with (CNN head) Jeff Zucker and said ‘I hate your network, everyone at CNN is a liar and you should be ashamed,’” the source continued. “The meeting was a total disaster. The TV execs and anchors went in there thinking they would be discussing the access they would get to the Trump administration, but instead they got a Trump-style dressing down.”
The U.K. Daily Mail reported a second source confirmed the verbal beat-down.
“The meeting took place in a big board room and there were about 30 or 40 people, including the big news anchors from all the networks,” the source said.
“Trump kept saying, ‘We’re in a room of liars, the deceitful dishonest media who got it all wrong.’ He addressed everyone in the room calling the media dishonest, deceitful liars. He called out Jeff Zucker by name and said everyone at CNN was a liar, and CNN was (a) network of liars,” the source continued.
The Epoch Times reported that ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, CNN, and Fox News were all in attendance. And, as Trump is wont to do, he didn’t spare anybody.
“Trump didn’t say (NBC reporter) Katy Tur by name, but talked about an NBC female correspondent who got it wrong, then he referred to a horrible network correspondent who cried when Hillary lost who hosted a debate – which was Martha Raddatz, who was also in the room.”
According to Fortune, Katy Tur and Trump have feuded since a contentious interview back in 2015. Tur was also one of the mainstream media figures who blasted the Trump campaign for saying, in the run-up to the election, that the polls were skewed in Hillary Clinton’s favor.
“This is a schtick that he does to rile up his base,” Tur said. “It’s to give them an excuse for polls that might not be in his favor … and to blame somebody for something that doesn’t look as good as they want it to look.”
As you may have perhaps heard, Tur was, uh, wrong.
Meanwhile, Kellyanne Conway was rather upbeat about how things went.
“Excellent meetings with the top executives of the major networks,” she told reporters. “Pretty unprecedented meeting we put together in two days.”
I bet it was an excellent meeting — for her side. The media was probably less pleased. However, the meeting was officially off the record, which means there was almost nothing they could really say about it.
Trump’s move, however, was classic Trump. The media assumed that even given their terrible treatment of the president-elect — especially the Clinton News Network — he would go along to get along.
Instead, they got put on notice: Media bias isn’t going to fly with The Donald the same way it’s flown with the GOP in years past.
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