New Year, New Trump Attacks on Media

President Donald Trump waited until Tuesday morning (Jan. 2) before renewing his attacks on the news media, though in this case in the form of a call for better coverage of his Administration.

In a pair ot tweets prompted by the naming of a new publisher for The New York Times, a favorite target, the President suggested it was a chance for the paper, which he has branded failing (and did again Tuesday) and a tool of his Democratic opponents, to "lose" all of its "phony" and "non-existent" sources. The President has railed against unnamed sources in stories critical of him or his Administration.

The Failing New York Times has a new publisher, A.G. Sulzberger. Congratulations! Here is a last chance for the Times to fulfill the vision of its Founder, Adolph Ochs, “to give the news impartially, without fear or FAVOR, regardless of party, sect, or interests involved.” Get...

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2018

....impartial journalists of a much higher standard, lose all of your phony and non-existent “sources,” and treat the President of the United States FAIRLY, so that the next time I (and the people) win, you won’t have to write an apology to your readers for a job poorly done! GL

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2018

The president's attacks on the media have led to reporters groups branding him a threat to a free press here and abroad and raised issues about how his administration would treat the proposed merger of AT&T and CNN parent Time Warner.

CNN has been the most consistent cable news target of the President's Twitter ire, as the Times has been on the print side. The Justice Department is trying to block the merger. Though Justice argues that is because of the incentive and opportunity to favor must-have programming, the President's vow as a candidate to block the merger, combined with his attacks on CNN, have raised questions about Justice's move.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.