President Donald Trump has come up with what he calls “the Fake News Awards”. This is an announcement style press release in which he talks about what kind of news outlets he believes are the most worthy of our scorn. He singled out six American media outlets in particular. Those include: CNN, The New York Times, the Washington Post, and others says CNBC.
There has been a long simmering battle between Donald Trump and the media since even before he took office. He has had a bone to pick with several media outlets, and he feels that taking out his frustration with them in this way is the most productive use of his time.
Many Presidents have had problems with the way that the media covers them in the past. Going after the media has been a popular trope of candidates from both parties, particularly the Republicans. However, no one has gone after the media quite like Donald Trump has. He has taken it to a new level.
This is all going on as media companies are concerned with mergers that they are trying to get approved. The President has gone out of his way to say that he could potentially deny some of those mergers because he does not appreciate the coverage that they have of him. This is a threat that has never been made by a President in this way ever before in the past.
The President for his part says that he did not make the decision to potentially force AT&T and Time Warner to sell CNN, but he make his objections to a potential deal very clear. He had laid out there that AT&T ought to have to sell CNN if they wanted to try to acquire Time Warner. Since the government has a lot of leverage over these kinds of deals, his words carried a lot more weight than perhaps even he realized.
CNN has been the main target of the President’s scorn, and he has made this clear time and time again. The fact that he has made his opinions so clear about business decisions that should be made by other companies is very astounding. Some say that it is an overstep of Presidential power. Still, the President has persisted in his criticism of media outlets that he does not agree with. In so doing, he has turned many of his supporters against them as well.