President Trump’s crusade against the news media continued today in Poland when he excoriated CNN over the network’s response to Trump’s tweeting a wrestling video created by a homophobic white supremacist Reddit user. (Apologies to all those awakening from comas longer than two years who opted to read this before BuzzFeed’s "Essential life hacks for not gouging your own eyes out with a lemon zester.")
While the bulk of Trump’s vitriol has been aimed at CNN over the past couple of days, it was actually his comments about NBC that should be most concerning:
“But CNN and others — and others; I mean NBC is equally as bad, despite the fact that I made them a fortune with The Apprentice, but they forgot that. But I will say that CNN has really taken it too seriously, and I think they've hurt themselves very badly, very, very badly. And what we want to see in the United States is honest, beautiful, free — but honest — press. We want to see fair press. I think it's a very important thing. We don't want fake news.”
Is he really saying NBC News should go easy on him because he helped NBC’s entertainment division make millions of dollars? So did Screech from Saved by the Bell. Should the network bury the news every time Dustin Diamond stabs a guy in a Wisconsin dive bar?
And Screech isn’t president of the United States. Yet.
Trump is, and he tells brazen lies almost every day while his presidential campaign remains under investigation for possible collusion with our sworn enemies. How far off the deep end do you have to be to think one branch of a giant corporation, to which you made a real but ultimately negligible contribution, should swear a blood oath to you forevermore and refuse to hold you accountable, even though your decisions affect literally every human being on the planet?
Trump’s war on reality — which is what this ultimately is — is reaching a breaking point. The mainstream media deserve plenty of blame for indulging Trump during his improbable march to the White House, but they don’t deserve this kind of treatment. We need to thank the media when they hold Trump accountable and nudge them back on track whenever they don’t.
Maybe one day they can actually force this liar to tell the truth. Or maybe not.