(Actually, the Times said it conducted more than 50 interviews — some of them were likely multiple interviews with the same person.)
What a counterpuncher! Trump yesterday appeared to revel in his anti-media guerrilla tactics. As Dylan Byers and Brian Stelter noted, the presumptive Republican nominee himself called the control room of CNN’s “New Day” to alert the show’s producers to an interview that Rowanne Brewer Lane, a former Trump girlfriend, had conducted with “Fox & Friends” to express her displeasure with the work of the New York Times. Turns out that those producers were well aware of the interview. Lane continued her pushback campaign, and Trump continued tweeting.
Escalation followed: Last night on the CNN program “Erin Burnett Outfront,” Trump Organization attorney Jill Martin said of the possibility of suing the New York Times, “I think that is a distinct possibility. I haven’t talked to him about it personally. But, you know, he’s attacked like that and things are said false, he definitely fires back.” This morning another Trump attorney, also in a CNN appearance, expressed skepticism that a filing would be coming down the pike.
This is the Trump tweet that launched the discussion about a lawsuit:
For just a moment here, let’s board the Trump Flight of Fancy and agree that this perfectly nailed down story was somehow false and malicious and awful. What did Trump expect? This is the New York Times, after all — the same New York Times that he has hammered this way*:
The same New York Times that he has hammered this way:
And this way:
And this and this:
Politicians who compile such a raft of gripes against a particular news organization commonly stop communicating with them. Boom — no more access, no more interviews, no more nothing. As for Trump? He did an interview. He told the New York Times about how he’s “reluctant to kiss strangers on the lips”; how his father expressed “love” when trying to force one of Donald’s girlfriends to order steak and not fish; how he wouldn’t have asked another woman to rate the looks of his previous lovers; how he’s “not somebody that really loved the dating process.”
To sum up: Donald Trump gave an extensive interview to a “failing” outlet that he’d trashed numerous times in the past for mistreating him. There are a few possibilities here:
1) He doesn’t believe all the things he tweets about the media;
2) He believes all the things he tweets about media outlets but does interviews with them anyway because his narcissism is too powerful.
3) He believes all the things he tweets about the media but trusts that his input will result in stories that he likes.
4) He writes negative media tweets because they poll well.
5) He writes negative media tweets because he doesn’t know a thing about policy.
6) He just tweets.
*H/T to the Trump insult tracker of the New York Times.